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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 29

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Scrutinizing the Profile and Risk Factors of Suicide: A Perspective from a Case-Control Study Focused on a Northern Region of Spain.


Sáenz-Aldea M, Zarrabeitia MT, Blanco A G, Santurtún A
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 29; 19(23).
PMID: 36497948.


Suicide is a major public health problem the prevention of which has become a priority, and, to this end, knowledge of its risk factors is essential. This study aims to evaluate the impact of some social, medico-legal, and clinical issues on suicide deaths. A total of 135 cases were identified as suicides that occurred in a region of northern Spain between 2018 and 2020. Controls (three for each case) were matched by age, sex, and urban-rural areas. The information was collected retrospectively through electronic health record systems. A binary logistic regression analysis was performed to study the association between individual risk factors and suicide. Being male (78.5%), between 40 and 60 years of age, unmarried (70.9%), and unemployed (85%) were associated with suicide deaths. Although the existence of a previous self-harm attempt is presented as the most robust risk factor (OR 22.121 [8.997-54.389]), the presence of a psychiatric diagnosis (OR 12.583 [7.686-20.601]) and cancer (OR 3.729 [1.845-7.536]) also showed a significant relationship with suicide ( < 0.05). Defining and knowing the risk factors for suicide helps to better understand the profiles of those individuals who are vulnerable, and enables prevention actions to be taken in both social and medical spheres.