Medical Practice

Changes in the Pattern of Admissions for Attempted Suicide in Newcastle upon Tyne during the 1960s

Br Med J 1971; 4 doi: (Published 13 November 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;4:412
  1. J. Sydney Smith,
  2. Kenneth Davison


    Comparison of 726 admissions to Newcastle upon Tyne General Hospital for attempted suicide in the period 1 October 1966 to 30 September 1969 with a previously reported series of 276 in 1962-4 showed an overall increase in annual admissions of 77%. For both sexes under age 30 years and females over 60 years the increase was over double. Psychiatric morbidity had increased, and there was also a significant rise in the proportion of unemployed men.

    The relative frequency of ingestion of non-barbiturate psychotropic or hypnotic drugs and barbiturates had changed, the former now being more common than the latter as the suicidal agent. Finally, there had been a significant increase in the proportion of patients receiving subsequent psychiatric treatment.

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