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Method of most recent self-harm episode is related to risk of subsequent suicide

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Question: Does method of most recent non-fatal self-harm predict risk of future suicide?

Population: 30 202 individuals who presented to the emergency departments of six hospitals with non-fatal self-harm between January 2000 and December 2007, and for whom follow-up information was available. The median age was 27 years and 41.3% of the cohort were male.

Setting: Three centres involved in the Multicentre Study of Self-harm, England; from 2000 to 2010.

Prognostic factors: Non-fatal self-harm, defined as intentional self-poisoning or self-injury, irrespective of motivation.

Outcomes: Suicide, defined as death where the underlying cause was intentional self-harm (ICD10 codes X60-85) or undetermined intent (Y10-Y34). Mortality information was obtained from the Medical Research Information Service of the NHS (MRIS). Analyses were adjusted for gender, age, unemployment/sickness/disability status and psychiatric treatment at the time of the last non-fatal episode of self-harm.


Design: Prospective cohort study.

Follow-up period: Range 3–11 years (median 1938 …

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  • Sources of funding The UK Department of Health under the NHS R&D Programme.


  • Competing interests None.