Suicide and undetermined violent deaths in Malaysia, 1966-1990: evidence for the misclassification of suicide statistics.

T. Maniam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    28 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Suicide statistics are generally recognised to be unreliable. This study of the reported rates of suicide in West Malaysia between 1966-1990 shows that the mean crude suicide rate between 1966-1974 was 6.1 per 100,000, but had dropped drastically between 1975-1990 to a mean of 1.6 per 100,000. Three lines of evidence are presented to show that this reduction in the suicide rate is due to a systematic misclassification of medically certified suicides as deaths due to undetermined violent deaths (which refers to violent deaths not known to be accidentally or deliberately inflicted). Firstly, the large drop in reported suicide rates corresponds closely to an increase in the rate of deaths due to undetermined violent deaths. There is a highly positive negative correlation between the two rates (coefficient of correlation, r = -0.9). Secondly, the misclassification appears to be mainly a problem with the medically certified deaths which follow the ICD classification. The mean ratio of uncertified to certified suicides before 1975 was 0.8, but from 1975 onwards the mean was 3.1. This is in contrast to the corresponding ratio for deaths due to all accidents which has remained fairly constant throughout these years. Thirdly, the race and sex differences for the rates of undetermined violent deaths are identical to those of suicide. Taking the misclassification into account the corrected suicide rate for West Malaysia is estimated to be between 8-13 per 100,000 since 1982.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-185
    Number of pages5
    JournalAsia-Pacific journal of public health / Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

    Fingerprint

    Malaysia
    Suicide
    Sex Characteristics
    Accidents
    Mortality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

    Cite this

    @article{8f97649d8f0949b7b23f13206616a4d6,
    title = "Suicide and undetermined violent deaths in Malaysia, 1966-1990: evidence for the misclassification of suicide statistics.",
    abstract = "Suicide statistics are generally recognised to be unreliable. This study of the reported rates of suicide in West Malaysia between 1966-1990 shows that the mean crude suicide rate between 1966-1974 was 6.1 per 100,000, but had dropped drastically between 1975-1990 to a mean of 1.6 per 100,000. Three lines of evidence are presented to show that this reduction in the suicide rate is due to a systematic misclassification of medically certified suicides as deaths due to undetermined violent deaths (which refers to violent deaths not known to be accidentally or deliberately inflicted). Firstly, the large drop in reported suicide rates corresponds closely to an increase in the rate of deaths due to undetermined violent deaths. There is a highly positive negative correlation between the two rates (coefficient of correlation, r = -0.9). Secondly, the misclassification appears to be mainly a problem with the medically certified deaths which follow the ICD classification. The mean ratio of uncertified to certified suicides before 1975 was 0.8, but from 1975 onwards the mean was 3.1. This is in contrast to the corresponding ratio for deaths due to all accidents which has remained fairly constant throughout these years. Thirdly, the race and sex differences for the rates of undetermined violent deaths are identical to those of suicide. Taking the misclassification into account the corrected suicide rate for West Malaysia is estimated to be between 8-13 per 100,000 since 1982.",
    author = "T. Maniam",
    year = "1995",
    language = "English",
    volume = "8",
    pages = "181--185",
    journal = "Asia-Pacific journal of public health / Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health",
    issn = "1010-5395",
    publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
    number = "3",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Suicide and undetermined violent deaths in Malaysia, 1966-1990

    T2 - evidence for the misclassification of suicide statistics.

    AU - Maniam, T.

    PY - 1995

    Y1 - 1995

    N2 - Suicide statistics are generally recognised to be unreliable. This study of the reported rates of suicide in West Malaysia between 1966-1990 shows that the mean crude suicide rate between 1966-1974 was 6.1 per 100,000, but had dropped drastically between 1975-1990 to a mean of 1.6 per 100,000. Three lines of evidence are presented to show that this reduction in the suicide rate is due to a systematic misclassification of medically certified suicides as deaths due to undetermined violent deaths (which refers to violent deaths not known to be accidentally or deliberately inflicted). Firstly, the large drop in reported suicide rates corresponds closely to an increase in the rate of deaths due to undetermined violent deaths. There is a highly positive negative correlation between the two rates (coefficient of correlation, r = -0.9). Secondly, the misclassification appears to be mainly a problem with the medically certified deaths which follow the ICD classification. The mean ratio of uncertified to certified suicides before 1975 was 0.8, but from 1975 onwards the mean was 3.1. This is in contrast to the corresponding ratio for deaths due to all accidents which has remained fairly constant throughout these years. Thirdly, the race and sex differences for the rates of undetermined violent deaths are identical to those of suicide. Taking the misclassification into account the corrected suicide rate for West Malaysia is estimated to be between 8-13 per 100,000 since 1982.

    AB - Suicide statistics are generally recognised to be unreliable. This study of the reported rates of suicide in West Malaysia between 1966-1990 shows that the mean crude suicide rate between 1966-1974 was 6.1 per 100,000, but had dropped drastically between 1975-1990 to a mean of 1.6 per 100,000. Three lines of evidence are presented to show that this reduction in the suicide rate is due to a systematic misclassification of medically certified suicides as deaths due to undetermined violent deaths (which refers to violent deaths not known to be accidentally or deliberately inflicted). Firstly, the large drop in reported suicide rates corresponds closely to an increase in the rate of deaths due to undetermined violent deaths. There is a highly positive negative correlation between the two rates (coefficient of correlation, r = -0.9). Secondly, the misclassification appears to be mainly a problem with the medically certified deaths which follow the ICD classification. The mean ratio of uncertified to certified suicides before 1975 was 0.8, but from 1975 onwards the mean was 3.1. This is in contrast to the corresponding ratio for deaths due to all accidents which has remained fairly constant throughout these years. Thirdly, the race and sex differences for the rates of undetermined violent deaths are identical to those of suicide. Taking the misclassification into account the corrected suicide rate for West Malaysia is estimated to be between 8-13 per 100,000 since 1982.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0029417530&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0029417530&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    M3 - Article

    C2 - 10050186

    AN - SCOPUS:0029417530

    VL - 8

    SP - 181

    EP - 185

    JO - Asia-Pacific journal of public health / Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health

    JF - Asia-Pacific journal of public health / Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health

    SN - 1010-5395

    IS - 3

    ER -