Author(s): Eddleston M, Gunnell D, Karunaratne A, de Silva D, Sheriff MH,
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Abstract We investigated the epidemiology of intentional self-poisoning in rural Sri Lanka by prospectively recording 2189 admissions to two secondary hospitals. Many patients were young (median age 25 years), male (57\%) and used pesticides (49\%). Of the 198 who died,156 were men (case fatality 12.4\%) and 42 were women (4.5\%). Over half of female deaths were in those under 25 years old; male deaths were spread more evenly across age groups. Oleander and paraquat caused 74\% of deaths in people under 25 years old; thereafter organophosphorous pesticides caused many deaths. Although the age pattern of self-poisoning was similar to that of industrialised countries, case fatality was more than 15 times higher and the pattern of fatal self-poisoning different.
This article was published in Br J Psychiatry
and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research