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Among middle aged men in Japan, non-drinkers and regular heavy drinkers are more likely to commit suicide than occasional drinkers

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Q Is there an association between alcohol consumption and suicide in middle aged men in Japan?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Population based prospective cohort study (pooled results from two individual cohorts).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

8.5 years (mean follow up).

Embedded ImageSetting:

Twenty seven municipalities in Japan from 1990 to 2000 (cohort I recruited in 1990, cohort II recruited in 1993).

Embedded ImagePeople:

43 383 men aged 40–69 registered with one of nine public health centres. Exclusions: people who did not return the baseline questionnaire and people for whom information on alcohol consumption was incomplete.

Embedded ImageRisk factors:

Alcohol consumption (assessed by self-report questionnaire). People were categorised as non-drinkers, occasional drinkers (1–3 days/month) and regular drinkers (⩾1 days/week). Regular drinkers were subdivided by weekly ethanol intake (<138 g/week, 138–251 g/week, 252–413 g/week, and ⩾414 g/week). Cohort II were also categorised as never drinkers, ex-drinkers, or current …

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  • For correspondence: Dr Shoichiro Tsugane, Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Centre for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Centre, 5-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan; stsugane{at}

  • Sources of funding: Cancer Research and Second-Term Comprehensive Ten-Year Strategy for Cancer Control from the Ministry of Labour, Health and Welfare of Japan.