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The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of attempted suicide in Oxford, United Kingdom, between 1989 and 1992 are reported on the basis of data collected as part of the WHO/EURO Multicentre Study of Parasuicide in Europe. Some further findings for the period 1976-1992 are also described. Rates of attempted suicide were particularly high among females aged 15-19 years. There was a very marked association in males and females between attempted suicide and both lower socioeconomic status and unemployment. The percentage of first-time attempters entering the attempted suicide population remained steady between 1976 and 1992, with approximately two-thirds of attempters each year making their first attempts. There was a great increase in the use of paracetamol (acetominophen) for self-poisoning between 1976 and 1992, this being involved in 14.3% of overdoses in 1976 and 43.2% in 1992. On the basis of the Oxford rates, there are approximately 100,000 general hospital admissions for attempted suicide each year in England and Wales, approximately 19,000 involving teenagers (mostly girls). Oxford has a similar pattern of attempted suicide to that in the rest of the UK. The findings indicate that the UK has one of the highest rates of attempted suicide in Europe.


Journal article



Publication Date





123 - 135


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, England, Female, Humans, Incidence, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, Suicide, Attempted