January 1983

Cohort Analysis of Suicide Rates in Australia

Author Affiliations

From the Dibden Research Unit, Glenside Hospital (Dr Goldney), and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Adelaide, South Australia (Ms Katsikitis).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(1):71-74. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790010073009

• Age-specific cohort analysis of Australian suicide rates confirmed recent Canadian and American reports of a substantial increase in suicide rate among young age groups. However, it was unable to replicate fully the previous findings that not only did successive birth cohorts have higher suicide rates, but that at each successive five-year period they had higher suicide rates than preceding cohorts had at that age. The major differences could be explained on the basis of the introduction of legislation that restricted the prescription of sedatives. This suggests that although there may be early and lasting effects on successive birth cohorts contributing to a general increase in cohort-specific suicide rates in the countries examined, such rates also can be influenced by changing environmental factors more immediately related to the suicide itself.