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Attempted suicides attended by emergency services during the economic recession in Castile–La Mancha, Spain

Celada FJ, Quiroga-Fernández A, Mohedano-Moriano A, Aliaga Vera I, Fernández Pérez C, Martín Conty JL

Servicio de Urgencias Extrahospitalarias de Castilla La Mancha (SESCAM), Spain. UGC de Medicina Preventiva, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain. Departamento de Ciencias Médicas. Facultad de Terapia Ocupacional, Logopedia y Enfermería. Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Spain. Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM); Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (IdISSC), Madrid, Spain. Departamento de Enfermería y Fisioterapia y Terapia Ocupacional. Facultad de Terapia Ocupacional, Logopedia y Enfermería. Universidad de Castilla La Mancha.

Objective. To investigate changes in attempted suicide rates in Castile-La Mancha between 2006 and 2015 and the correlation with sociodemographic and economic indicators.
Methods. Study of attempted suicides attended by the emergency medical services of Castile–La Mancha between 2006 and 2015.We obtained records of the number of incidents and recorded sociodemographic and economic variables. Rates were standardized by direct reference to regional population figures, and change over time was studied by means of segmented Poisson regression models. The correlation with economic indicators was assessed with the Pearson correlation coefficient.
Results. A total of 1308 attempted suicides were attended; 711 (55.8%) were made by women. The years 2007 and 2013 saw the highest numbers of attempts. The population-standardized suicide rates were 23% higher in women than in men, 10% higher in Toledo than in Albacete, 20% higher in 2007–2008 and 30% to 40% higher between 2012 and
2015 than before the crisis began. Rates were higher in age brackets in which employment is usual. Rates correlated most strongly with economic strain (difficulty making it to the end of the monthly pay cycle) (r=0.29, P<.01), risk of poverty/exclusion in the region (r=0.285, P<.01), and the unemployment rate in the region (r=0.265, P<.01).
Conclusions. Suicide rates rose during the economic recession. There were variable correlations between socioeconomic indicators and attempted suicide rates.

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