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01.04.2015 | original article | Ausgabe 7-8/2015

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 7-8/2015

Epidemiology of suicide in Austria during 2000–2010: potential years of life lost: time for the national suicide prevention program

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 7-8/2015
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Elmar Etzersdorfer, Dr. Jakob Klein, Dipl.-Psych. Nicole Baus, Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Gernot Sonneck, Assoz.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Nestor D. Kapusta



This article investigates suicide rates from 2000 to 2010 in Austria, a country with now average rates that had started to decline in the mid-80s.


Rates declined in the observed period, to an average of 26.1 per 100,000 persons for men, 8.2 for women, and 16.9 in the general population. The decrease was found in all age-groups, but more marked in women, with a reduction by 26.3 % compared with the previous decade than in men (20.0 % reduction). Hanging still is the most common method, 49.1 % for men and 35.0 % for women, although also on the decline. Furthermore, person years of lost life were calculated, also reflecting a decrease from 40,702 years in 2000 to 29,883 in 2010. Altogether, 372,551 years of life were lost by suicide in Austria in the period 2000–2010, 277,998 years among men and 94,553 years among women.


Concerning the still observed increase in old age-groups and the huge amount of lost life years, it is argued that implementation of the National Suicide Prevention Programme for Austria is strongly needed.

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