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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


BORGES, Guilherme et al. Distribution and socio-demographic determinants of the suicidal behavior in Mexico. Salud Ment [online]. 2009, vol.32, n.5, pp.413-425. ISSN 0185-3325.

Introduction Mexico has seen constant increases in the rate of completed suicide in the last decades, especially among youth. The Mexican population between 1 5-24 years of age is currently the most affected, with 28% of all suicides in 2007. In this context of increasing suicide mortality, the study of suicide-related behaviors, that is, suicidal ideation, plans, gestures and suicide attempts, has special relevance. All of these are immediate precursors to death by suicide and independent risk factors of subsequent suicide attempts and completed suicides. Episodes that do not result in death, can lead to serious, long-term consequences in one's physical health, as well as being an important cause of psychological suffering on the part of the individual and his/her family. Up until now, research in our country has emphasized the prevalence of lifetime suicidal behavior and its associated factors. However, the current (12-month) prevalences are indispensable in order to define the demographic profile and clinical needs, and to build risk profiles for immediate application by the clinics treating these individuals. Objectives To report the prevalence and sociodemographic characteristics of suicide-related behaviors in the past 12 months in a nationally representative sample of respondents from the Encuesta Nacional de Adicciones (ENA) of 2008. Methods Cross-sectional prevalence study which obtained data from a nationally-representative sample of 22 966 individuals, between the ages of 12 and 65, during 2008, who answered the section on suicidal behaviors. The response rate was 77%. Twelve-month prevalences of suicidality are reported according to different sociodemographic and economic factors. Multiple logistic regression models for odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, corrected for the study design, are reported. Results We found the prevalence of any suicidal ideation to be 8.79% (ranging from 4.2 to 6.2%, depending on the question used), the prevalence of a suicide plan was 1.22%, and 0.79% of the sample reported to attemp suicide within the past 12 months, with the prevalence of suicide attempts that required medical attention being 0.13%. If we use the sample weights to make estimations regarding the 75 million inhabitants of Mexico that the ENA 2008 represents, we estimate that 6 601 210 Mexicans experienced suicidal ideation in the past 12 months, 918 363 Mexicans planned suicide, a total of 593 600 individuals attempted suicide and 99 731 utilized medical services as a consequence of their attempt. We found that women, people who are not married or in a relationship, those with less education, younger age groups and the unemployed have, in general, a higher risk of exhibiting suicidal behavior. Some regions of the country, especially the southeast, were more affected, whereas individuals who live in rural areas consistently reported lower prevalences of the three suicidal behaviors. Conclusion The epidemiology of completed suicide in Mexico has changed within the last decades by a process that has been gradual but constant. The epidemiology of current suicidal behaviors shows that the problem is already at similar levels to other highly affected countries. Mexico needs immediately to dedicate much more efforts to detection, treatment and prevention of these behaviors to avoid further increases in suicidality and its consequences.

Palabras llave : Suicide; suicide attempt; risk factors; epidemiology; survey; psychiatric disorder.

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