Inequalities and Impact of Socioeconomic-Cultural Factors in Suicide Rates Across Italy
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Background: Suicide is a major cause of premature death in Italy and occurs at different rates in the various regions. Aims: The aim of the present study was to provide a comprehensive overview of suicide in the Italian population aged 15 years and older for the years 1980-2006. Methods: Mortality data were extracted from the Italian Mortality Database. Results: Mortality rates for suicide in Italy reached a peak in 1985 and declined thereafter. The different patterns observed by age and sex indicated that the decrease in the suicide rate in Italy was initially the result of declining rates in those aged 45+ while, from 1997 on, the decrease was attributable principally to a reduction in suicide rates among the younger age groups. It was found that socioeconomic factors underlined major differences in the suicide rate across regions. Conclusions: The present study confirmed that suicide is a multifaceted phenomenon that may be determined by an array of factors. Suicide prevention should, therefore, be targeted to identifiable high-risk sociocultural groups in each country.