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PW 1608 The burden of suicide in rural bangladesh: magnitude and risk factors
  1. Shumona Sharmin Salam1,
  2. Olakunle Alonge2,
  3. Md Irteja Islam1,
  4. DME Hoque1,
  5. Shams El Arifeen1
  1. 1International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA


Worldwide, there were about 8 03 900 suicides in 2012 making it the 15th most common cause of death for all ages. Three-fourths of the global suicides occur in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Also, for every adult who commits suicide, there are indications that there are 10–20 more who attempt a suicide. The aim of the paper is to quantify the burden and risk factors of fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviors in rural Bangladesh. A census was carried out in seven sub-districts of Bangladesh encompassing 1.16 million people. Face-to-face interviews were conducted at the household level. Information on fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviours were collected over a 1 year and 6 month recall period, respectively. Descriptive analyses were done to quantify the burden and Poisson regression was run to determine on risk factors. The estimated rates of fatal and non-fatal suicide were 3.29 and 9.86 per 1 00 000 person-years (PY) observed, respectively. The risk of suicide was significantly higher by 6.31 times among 15–17 and 4.04 times among 18–24 olds compared to 25–64 years old. Married adolescents were 22 times more likely to commit suicide compared to never-married. Students had significantly lower risk of non-fatal suicidal behavior and among adolescents, unskilled laborers were 16 times more likely to attempt suicide than students. Compared to Chandpur/Comilla district the risk of suicide was higher in Narshingdi while the risk of non-fatal suicide was lower in Sherpur. The common methods used were hanging and poisoning. Suicide is a serious public health problem in Bangladesh especially among high-risk individuals such as adolescents and married women. There is a need to develop targeted national strategies, action plans, prevention programs and conduct further research to learn more and reduce the rate of suicide in the country.

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