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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


GARCIA-VALENCIA, Jenny et al. Adverse Life Events and Suicide: A Case-Control Study of Psychological Autopsy in Medellin, Colombia. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.1, pp.11-28. ISSN 0034-7450.

Objective: To determine whether specific types of adverse life events are risk factors for suicide in Medellin, Colombia. Method: This is a case-control study conducted among 108 individuals who committed suicide (cases) and 108 deceased from other causes (controls) matched by age and gender. Both cases and controls were examined through psychological autopsy and information about adverse life events during the previous six months was collected. Results: After adjusting for psychiatric disorders, previous suicide attempts and family history of suicide using a conditional logistic regression analysis, partnership dissolution, and unemployment were found to be risk factors for suicide. Additionally, financial difficulties showed a high OR although it was not statistically significant. Since results lacked precision, we fitted a non-conditional model which pointed to the following events as independent risk factors for suicide: partnership dissolution and separation, and financial difficulties. Conclusions: Partnership dissolution, unemployment, and financial difficulties increase risk of suicide, regardless of other factors. These adverse life events must be taken into account for the design of prevention strategies and mental health policies.

Keywords : Suicide; risk factors; life change events.

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