Suicide second leading cause of death among young Indians

Updated: Jun 22, 2012, 11:43 AM IST

London: Suicide has become the second leading cause of death of young people in India, which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, according to a study published in Lancet.

"Suicide kills nearly as many Indian men aged 15-29 as transportation accidents and nearly as many young women as complications from pregnancy and childbirth," said the study`s lead author Vikram Patel, of London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Transport accidents are the leading cause of deaths in men (about 14 per cent) in India while maternal disorders are the main cause of deaths among women (about 16 per cent), the study said.
Suicide second leading cause of death among young Indians

After that suicide is the second leading cause of death of young people in India - 13 per cent in men and 14 per cent in women.

With decline in maternal death rates, suicide could soon become the leading cause of death among young women, he said, noting further that public health interventions such as restrictions in access to pesticides might prevent many suicide deaths in India.

"In India, suicide is the cause of about twice as many deaths as is HIV/AIDS, and about the same number as maternal causes of death in young women," the article states.

The research is based on the Registrar General of India`s first national survey of the causes of death, conducted in 2001-03, and the researchers applied the age-specific and sex -specific proportion of suicide deaths in the 2001 03 survey to the 2010 UN estimates of absolute numbers of deaths (and age-specific risks) for all causes in India.

The Registrar General of India`s survey found that about 3 per cent of deaths in India of people aged over 15 are due to suicide.

Using projections by the United Nations of total deaths, the study authors estimated that about 187,000 suicides occurred in 2010. Of those men who died by suicide, 40 per cent were between the ages of 15 and 29. Of the women, 56 per cent were in that age bracket.