Prevalence of Suicide Ideation, Attempts and the Associated Factors among a Sample of Iranian Population in South Part of the Country: A Population Based Study

Article excerpt

Objective: Suicide represented 1.8% of the total global burden of disease in 1998 and it will increase to 2.4% in 2020. We performed a cross sectional study to assess the prevalence of suicide ideation, attempt and its associated factors.

Method: We designed a cross sectional study in Mahan and Bardsir cities, Kerman province, Iran. Based on the multistage cluster sampling, 860 subjects aged 15 and older were selected as the non-attempter group and 58 hospital cases admitted due to suicide attempts were selected as the attempter group. General Health Questionnaire, Suicide Ideation Scale and demographic form were filled for each participant.

Results: This study showed that the prevalence of suicide ideation was 10% in total: 48.3% in the suicide attempters and 7.33% in the non-attempters. Being female, young, single, more educated and less religious, living in urban areas, opium use and having somatic complaints and other psychiatric problems were associated with suicide attempts.

Conclusion: Suicide ideation and attempt aren't uncommon in Iran and should be recognized as important problems existing in these two cities of Kerman province.

Key words: Attempted Suicide, Iran, Prevalence, Suicide

Iran J Psychiatry 2009; 4:92-96

Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years (both sexes) worldwide. Suicide represented 1.8% of the total global burden of disease in 1998 and it will increase to 2.4% in countries with market and former socialist economies in 2020 (1).

Iran's suicide rates like other Asian countries are moderate. Bertolote et al showed that the prevalence of life time suicide ideation was 14%)2( ;and the review of the Nock et al showed that the prevalence of the life time suicide attempts are between 1.2 and 1.4% in Iran)3). These rates, suicide ideation and suicide attempts, were 12.7% and 3.3% respectively in a study conducted by Malakouti et al. (4).

Mental disorders particularly depression and substance abuse are associated with more than 90% of all the suicide cases (1). In Iran, 10.8% of the subjects aged 18 years and older suffer from at least one psychiatric disorder, and major depressive disorder is the top common disorder among this population(5.(

Kerman is a south eastern province in Iran and one of the main opium trade routes of Afghanistan. In addition to neighboring Afghanistan, some cultural beliefs in Kerman lead to the high prevalence of opium addiction (6).

Bardsir and Mahan are two small cities in this province with estimated population of 89365 and 17166 respectively with similar geographical and sociocultural situation .

As no precise data are present on suicide in Kerman, this study was aimed to assess the prevalence of suicide ideation, attempt and its related factors in order to find out the epidemiology and the most common determinants of this public health problem in two ordinary cities in the central part of Iran.

Materials and Methods


This cross sectional study was conducted in Bardsir and Mahan during Jul to Aug 2005. Based on the assumptions in calculating the sample size (α = 5%, β = 10%, the prevalence of the psychiatric disorders (= 21% [(7])) ),and the considering minimum OR between psychiatric disorders disordersand , suicide ideation and also the design effect of 840 subjects were calculated. The selected sample size was divided into 4 categories based on the rural and urban population in each of the Mahan and Bardsir cities (Mahan and Bard sir). Based on the multi-stage clustered sampling method, The the sample of 859 subjects out of a total number of 106531 individuals with the aged age range of 15 and older based on the multi-stage clustered sampling method were selected. Based on the urban and rural population of Mahan and Bardsir Bardsirin The , 43 clusters were randomly selected from the list of households of health centers. …


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