Suicide the second most common cause of death in India


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Suicide the second most common cause of deathNew Delhi, June 23, 2012: Maharashtra and West Bengal together accounted for an additional 15 percent of such deaths.

New Delhi A recent study has revealed that suicide has become the second-leading cause of death among young in India.

The first national study of deaths in India was published in the British Medical journal The Lancet.

Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnakata and Kerala recorded 42 percent suicide deaths in men and 40 percent of self-inflicted fatalities in women in 2010.

Maharashtra and West Bengal together accounted for an additional 15 percent of such deaths.

Delhi recorded the lowest suicide rate in the country.

In numbers, the most suicide deaths in individuals, aged 15 years or older, were in Andhra Pradesh (28,000) followed by Tamil Nadu (24,000) and Maharashtra (19,000).

Suicide deaths occurred at younger age in women (average age 25 years) than in men (average age 34 years). Educated persons were at greater risk of completing a suicide.

The risk of completing a suicide was 43 percent higher in men, who finished secondary or higher education, in comparison to those who had not completed primary education.

Among women, the risk increased to 90 percent.

Lead author of the study Vikram Patel said that the 187,000 people committed suicide in India in 2010.

About half of suicide deaths were due to poisoning, mainly ingesting of pesticides.

Hanging was the second most common cause for men and women, while burns accounted for about one-sixth of suicides by women.

Patel, who works at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that with the decline in maternal death rates, suicide could soon become the leading cause of death among young women in India.

Patel said that suicides can be prevented through interventions like banning the most toxic pesticides and teaching rural communities on safe storage of pesticides.

India should also start mental health promotion for young people through schools and colleges and introduce crisis counseling services and services for treatment of depression and alcohol addiction, he added.

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