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Major demographic, social and economic factors associated to suicide rates in

Latvia 1980–98

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Objective: The aim of this study is to analyse the dynamics of suicide rates in Latvia 1980–98, when dramatic social and economical changes took place. Special attention is given to demographic risk groups and major socioeconomic correlates influencing the dynamics of suicide rates.

Method: Descriptive statistics of suicide rates and major social and economical correlates.

Results: During 1980–98 there were rapid swings of suicide rates. The increase was generated mainly by males reaching a maximum of 72 per 100 000 population in 1993. The sudden drop in gross domestic product, the rapid increase in first-time alcohol psychosis and the percentage of people unemployed did not correspond strictly with the dynamics of suicide rates.

Conclusion: Demographic and socioeconomic factors could not explain sufficiently the rapid changes in suicide rates in Latvia during the years 1980–98; psychological factors also have to be considered.

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Keywords: Latvia; alcohol; epidemiolog; gender; suicide; unemployment

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Riga Psychoneurological Hospital, Riga, Latvia and 2: Department of Clinical Science, Division of Psychiatry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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