Falling suicide rates in China mask emerging upward trends

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 07 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4486
  1. Jane Parry
  1. 1Hong Kong

China’s suicide rates have fallen dramatically in recent years, largely as a result of urbanisation and economic prosperity, but the positive impact of these factors seems to be bottoming out, researchers in Hong Kong have warned. Moreover, they said that the overall decline in suicides masked worrying emerging trends in particular groups, most notably in elderly people.1

The overall suicide rate in China dropped substantially in the 2000s. From 1995 to 1999 the estimated mean national suicide rate was 23.2 suicides per 100 000 people per year,2 but by 2011 this had fallen to 9.8 per 100 000 per year.

Paul SF Yip, director of the Centre …

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