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Method used in an unsuccessful suicide attempt predicts likelihood of future completed suicide

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Does the method used in an unsuccessful suicide attempt predict the likelihood of subsequent completed suicide?


48 649 individuals (age 10 and over) admitted to hospital between 1973 and 1982 after definite or uncertain attempted suicide (International Classification of Diseases, Revision 8 (ICD-8) codes E950-9 and E980-9). All individuals who attempted suicide in this period were identified using Swedish national hospital discharge registers. For individuals with multiple suicide attempts, the first was considered the index event. People who immigrated within 2 years prior to the index event were excluded to avoid confounding by the stress of asylum seeking.


General population, Sweden; 1973–2003.

Prognostic factors

Method of index suicide attempt (identified using ICD codes). People attempting suicide by poisoning were used as the reference group as it was the most common method.


Attempted suicide, definite or uncertain suicide (ICD-8-9 codes E950-9 and E980-9; ICD-10 codes X60–84 and Y10–34). Follow-up finished …

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  • Sources of funding Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet.


  • Competing interests None.

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