This new paper, Incidence and general hospital costs of self-harm across England: estimates based on the multicentre study of self-harm, was published in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, it provides the first detailed study of self-harm and associated hospital costs.
Suicide affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and is the leading cause of death in males aged 10-49 years and females age 10-34 years in England and Wales. Approximately half of individuals who die by suicide have a history of self-harm, and hospital presentation for self-harm often occurs shortly before suicide. This highlights the need for primary and secondary prevention interventions that focus on reducing self-harm presentations and on provision of effective aftercare for those who do self-harm.Professor Keith Hawton.
The authors of the study estimated that 228,075 hospital visits in England by 159,857 patients (39% male and 61% female) in 2013 were a result of self-harm. The definition of self-harm includes intentional self-poisoning and self-injury. They found that 30% of self-harm related hospital visits by men were by those aged between 40 and 49 and that 28% of hospital visits related to self-harm in women were by those aged 19 to 29. The incidence of self-harm was lower in coastal areas, higher inland, and highest in London.