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February 1976

Suicide by Persons With and Without Psychiatric Contacts

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY. Dr Kraft is now with the University Health Services, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(2):209-215. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770020047007

• A two-year sample of 179 consecutive suicides in Monroe County, New York, was divided according to the presence or absence of previous psychiatric contacts based on a county-wide psychiatric case register (PCR). After a brief description of the total suicide group, the 45% of suicides with PCR contacts are compared to the suicides without such contacts and to the total PCR population. Findings suggest that there are some important differences between psychiatric patients at high risk for suicide compared to other groups. The PCR suicides were almost equally male or female, had a median age of 42 years, had high proportions of persons divorced or widowed, and unemployed or retired. Persons diagnosed as alcohol abusers, or as having affective psychosis, depressive neurosis, or schizophrenia were especially at risk.

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