Women doctors at increased risk of suicide

April 09, 2001

Suicide in doctors: a study of risk according to gender, seniority and specialty in medical practitioners in England and Wales, 1979-95 2001;55:296-300

Women doctors are more vulnerable to suicide than either their male colleagues or the rest of the population, finds a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Community health doctors, anaesthetists, psychiatrists, and general practitioners were significantly more likely to commit suicide than other members of the profession.

The research team identified all NHS doctors in England and Wales who had committed suicide between 1979 and 1995 from death certificates. They also used data from the Office for National Statistics to compare population death rates.

The results showed that 223 doctors had died by suicide or from an undetermined cause during the time frame of the study. Suicide rates were significantly lower among male doctors than the general population. But rates among women doctors were not only higher than the rest of the population, but significantly higher than those of their male colleagues.

General population statistics show that suicide rates among men are significantly higher than among women.

When the research team analysed the deaths by specialty, they found that anaesthetists were almost seven times, psychiatrists five, and general practitioners over 3.5 times as likely to commit suicide than other doctors. Community health doctors were especially vulnerable, being eight times more likely to commit suicide than other doctors, while men in this specialty were 12 times as likely as their female colleagues to do so.

"The increased risk in female doctors is of particular concern in the light of the steadily increasing number and proportion of women in the medical workforce," conclude the authors. They call for more effective ways of tackling stress and mental health problems among doctors.
-end-
Contact:

Professor John Ashton, co-editor, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health M.Kit@downholland.freeserve.co.uk

BMJ Specialty Journals

Related Suicide Articles from Brightsurf:

Suicide prevention in COVID-19 era
COVID-19 presents a new and urgent opportunity to focus political will, federal investments, and global community on the vital imperative of suicide prevention.

Racial discrimination linked to suicide
New research findings from the University of Houston indicate that racial discrimination is so painful that it is linked to the ability to die by suicide, a presumed prerequisite for being able to take one's own life, and certain mental health tools - like reframing an incident - can help.

Factors associated with firearm suicide risk
Researchers compared the risk of suicide by firearm based on sociodemographic characteristics of US adults.

Suicide mortality and COVID-19
Reasons why U.S. suicide rates may rise in tandem with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are explained in this article that also describes opportunities to expand research and care.

Media reports of celebrity suicide linked to increased suicide rates
Media reporting of suicide, especially celebrity suicides, is associated with increases in suicide in the general population, particularly by the same method as used by the celebrity, finds an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.

More youth suicide found in poor communities across US
A study led by Jennifer Hoffmann, M.D., from Ann & Robert H.

BU study finds new factors linked to suicide
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers finds that physical illness and injury raises the risk of suicide in men but not women, along with a plethora of other insights into the complex factors that may increase a person's risk of suicide.

Investigating the full spectrum of suicide
A recent study published in Injury Prevention described a method for categorizing self-injury mortality (SIM) to help us better examine national trends for today's epidemics of suicide and drug-related deaths.

Between 16 and 18% of preadolescents have ideas of suicide
Thinking of taking one's own life (ideation), planning it, threatening to do it or even attempting to do it is regarded as suicidal behaviour.

Social networks and suicide prevention
Depression and mental health problems are increasing - and suicide and drug overdose rates are rising dramatically in the USA.

Read More: Suicide News and Suicide Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.