Suicide attempts presenting to trauma centers: trends across age groups using the National Trauma Data Bank

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BACKGROUND: This study sought to examine the epidemiology and mortality of violent suicide attempts presenting to trauma centers and to describe differences in male and female suicide attempters presenting to trauma centers by decade of age. METHOD: Data from the National Trauma Data Bank (American College of Surgeons) years 2010-2012 were used for this study. E-codes indicative of self-inflicted injury (e950-e959) were used to identify violent suicide attempts. Incidents were categorized by decade of age at admission. We examined the effects of age and sex on rates of violent suicide attempts, mechanism used, and mortality. RESULTS: In all, 36035 violent suicide attempts were identified in the National Trauma Data Bank. Proportion of in-hospital mortality differed significantly with age (P< .001). Individuals aged 20 to 29 years had a significantly higher number of attempts with 15.6% mortality, whereas individuals aged 80 plus year had fewer attempts but with 45.9% mortality. There were significant interactions between sex and age on lethality of suicide attempts (P< .01) and mechanism chosen (P< .01), with men being more likely to use firearms across age groups. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the importance of examining the epidemiology of suicide attempts across sex and age. There are significant differences in rate of attempts, lethality of mechanism, and in-hospital mortality. Future studies should continue to investigate violent suicide attempts to design and implement effective treatment strategies targeted toward specific populations.

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The American journal of emergency medicine

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