Thursday, January 28, 2016

Emergency Department Visits Prior to Suicide and Homicide

Emergency departments (EDs) serve a wide range of patients who present at risk of impending suicide and homicide.

Two statewide surveillance systems were probabilistically linked to understand who utilizes EDs and then dies violently within 6 weeks.

Each identified case was matched with four randomly selected controls on sex, race, date of birth, resident zip code, and date of ED visit vs. date of death. Matched-pair odds ratios were estimated by conditional logistic regression to assess differences between cases and controls on reported diagnoses and expected payment sources.

Of 1,599 suicides and 569 homicides in the 3-year study period, 10.7% of decedents who died by suicide (x = 13.6 days) and 8.3% who died by homicide (x = 16.3 days) were seen in a state ED within 6 weeks prior to death. ED attendees who died by suicide were more likely to have a diagnosis of injury/ poisoning diagnosis or mental disorder and more likely to have Medicare. Those who died by homicide were more likely to have a diagnosis of injury/poisoning and less likely to have commercial insurance.

It is essential for research to further explore risk factors for imminent suicide and homicide in ED patients who present for psychiatric conditions and general injuries.

Purchase full article at:

  • 1 University of Kentucky, College of Social Work (, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • 2 University of Kentucky, Department of Biostatistics and the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • 3 University of Kentucky, Department of Epidemiology and Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, College of Public Health, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • 4 University of Kentucky, Department of Biostatistics, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • 5 University of Kentucky , Department of Statistics/DATAQUeST, Lexington, KY, USA.
  •  2015 Dec 1:1-8. 

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