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Gender-specific differences and the impact of family integration on time trends in age-stratified Swiss suicide rates

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Riebler Andrea, Held Leonhard, Rue Håvard, Bopp Matthias,
Project Multivariate analysis of dependent count data
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society-Series A
Volume (Issue) 175(2)
Page(s) 473 - 490
Title of proceedings Journal of the Royal Statistical Society-Series A
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2011.01013.x


Suicide has become one of the leading causes of death of Swiss males aged between 15 and 44 years, whose age-standardised rates are about three times higher than those for females. We compared age-stratified suicide rates of Swiss men and women aged 15–79 and analysed gender-specific differences from 1950–2007. Furthermore, we explored whether changes in measures of family integration can explain changes in suicide trends. The use of multivariate age-period-cohort models avoids age aggregation and allows the exploration of heterogeneous time trends across age, period and birth cohort. In addition, explanatory variables can be included. We found strong gender-specific differences in suicide mortality. While the same risk factors may act on age and overdispersion, there was no significant correlation between gender-specific cohort effects. Family integration had an impact on Swiss suicide risk, but only partially explained the underlying trends over time.