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Addictive Behaviors

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 35  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 152 - 156

Alcohol use disorders and acute alcohol use preceding suicide in China

Yali Zhang, Kenneth R. Conner and Michael R. Phillips


Objectives:Identify distinguishing characteristics of subgroups of suicides classified according to different patterns of alcohol use prior to death.
Methods:Three groups of suicide decedents from a representative sample of 454 male suicides in China identified in a national psychological autopsy study were classified and compared: decedents with an alcohol use disorder during the year prior to death, those without an alcohol use disorder who used alcohol acutely at the time of suicide, and those with neither an alcohol use disorder nor acute use.
Results:Compared with suicides unrelated to alcohol, those with an alcohol use disorder were more likely to have made previous suicide attempts (adjusted OR, 95%CI = 1.94, 1.07–3.53), and suicides with acute alcohol use were less likely to have poor overall functioning in the month before death (0.36, 0.20–0.63).
Conclusions:The characteristics of male suicide decedents with an alcohol use disorder, using alcohol acutely but without an alcohol use disorder, and with no alcohol involvement are somewhat different, suggesting the potential value of tailored prevention strategies.

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