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Trends and ecological results in suicides among Italian youth aged 10-25 years: A nationwide register study.

  • Forte, Alberto1
  • Vichi, Monica2
  • Ghirini, Silvia3
  • Orri, Massimiliano4
  • Pompili, Maurizio5
  • 1 Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Department of Psychiatry and Substance Abuse, ASL Roma 5, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 2 Statistical Service, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy, Via Giano della Bella 34, 00161 Rome, Italy, National Institute of Health (ISS). Electronic address: [email protected] , (Italy)
  • 3 National Center on Addictions and Doping, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 4 McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Bordeaux Population Health Research Centre, Inserm U1219, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France. , (Canada)
  • 5 Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
Published Article
Journal of affective disorders
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.12.142
PMID: 33418363


Documenting current trends and sources of variation in youth suicide rates is critical to inform prevention strategies. We aimed to document suicide mortality trends among Italian youth from 1981 to 2016 and to describe age-, gender- and urbanization-specific suicide rates. We used official mortality data for the period 1981-2016 for adolescents and young adults aged 10-25 years. We estimated standardized all-cause and suicide mortality rates per 100,000 individuals and used joinpoint regression analyses to determine annual mortality trends and significant changes in rate trends. Analyses were reported according to gender, age group (10-17 and 18-25 years), urbanization and suicide method. From 1981 to 2016, 1,752 suicides were identified among youth aged 10-17 years (boy/girl ratio of 5.80 in 2016) and 9,897 suicides among youth aged 18-25 years (boy/girl ratio of 3.97 in 2016). Overall suicide rates remained stable for boys and showed a small decrease for girls. Suicide was most common in rural areas for boys and in metropolitan areas for girls. We observed a significant decrease in the use of firearms and poisoning; the most common suicide method was hanging for boys and falls for girls. We did not control for regional-level sociodemographic, economic and health care system characteristics. Youth suicides were either stable (for boys) or slightly declining (for girls). We found differences according to urban versus rural areas, suggesting the need for a broader view of the phenomenon. Factors influencing these trends and gender differences in the geographical areas are important in delivering suicide prevention strategies. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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