It is a well-established fact that on a global scale men have a much higher suicide rate compared to women. A number of factors contribute to this, one of which is that males are more effective in their attempts by using more violent means to take their lives.
The total number of deaths globally from suicide increased by 6.7% between 1990-2016, reaching 817,000 per year, about 1.5% of total deaths, according to a new scientific study.
A study in 195 countries, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), showed that men have higher rates of suicide mortality (15.6 deaths per 100,000) than women (seven deaths per 100,000), with the exception of the age group of 15-19 years, where female suicides are more.
Greece is among the countries with the lowest rates of female suicides in the world. With 1.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2016, it appears to have the fourth lowest rate after Syria, Oman, and Jamaica. The suicide rate among men in Greece in 2016 was 6.4 per 100,000 or about five times that of women. The suicide rate for both sexes in our country in 2016 was 3.7 per 100,000 and shows a decrease of 3.9% between 1990 and 2016 (it is based on age-related changes over time).
The study revealed that younger and elderly people have higher rates of suicide worldwide than middle-aged people. In general, suicide rates in the general population vary considerably from country to country.
The World Health Organization considers it to be a worrying public health problem, leading the organisation to set a goal of reducing the rate by one third across the globe by 2030.
Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in eastern Europe (fourth cause of death), central Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Australasia and North America. In Europe and Western countries, there is a close relationship between mental illness and suicide, but this is not the case in Asia.
The highest rates of suicide were recorded in Lesotho, Africa (39 deaths per 100,000), Lithuania (31 per 100,000), Russia (30,6 per 100,000) and Zimbabwe (27,8 per 100,000). Suicide deaths in China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, account for almost half (44%) of the world’s number but are gradually declining.
The researchers, however, pointed out that real numbers may be higher, as some countries where suicide is considered a taboo due to religious and cultural reasons often categorise suicide deaths under different a cause.