Share this Article
G Parker, HL Yap
Correspondence: G Parker
Aim of Study To examine for any change in the sex ratio of suicides in Singapore over the last decade.
Methods Data on suicides in Singapore for the decade 1989-98 were examined, both as an overall set and as four age-based sub-groups.
Results The male to female ratio increased significantly over the decade, contributed to most distinctly by changed rates in young adults (ie a group defined as 29-40 years). The changed sex ratio appeared limited to Chinese subjects, where the suicide rate/100,000 population was consistently higher than for the non-Chinese. The changed ratio appeared more to reflect an absolute decrease in female suicides rather than any distinct absolute increase in male suicides.
Conclusion The previous distinct male preponderance in suicide,which had progressively diminished by the early eighties, has become distinct again, but is now seemingly more driven by a disproportionate decline in the absolute rate of suicides in younger females. We speculate on possible social determinants of this intriguing epidemiological trend.
Keywords: suicide, Singapore, sex ratio
Singapore Med J 2001; 42(1): 11-14