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Suicide among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent: a review.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Studies of suicide among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) were examined to increase awareness of suicide risk and to better understand social and psychological factors contributing to suicide in this group.

METHODS

An online search was conducted of MEDLINE for the years 1966 to 1994 and Psychological Abstracts for the years 1974 to 1994, and all references on completed suicides in the target population were selected for review.

RESULTS

Suicide rates of young women immigrants from the Indian subcontinent are consistently higher than those of their male counterparts and of young women in the indigenous populations of the countries to which they immigrate. Suicide rates among older men in this immigrant group have been reported to be low, although reports are less consistent. Use of violent methods such as hanging, burning, and poisoning is common among both men and women. A disproportionately higher number of immigrant Hindus commit suicide. Family conflict appears to be a precipitating factor in many suicides, whereas mental illness is rarely cited as a cause. Depression, anxiety, and domestic violence may contribute to the high rates. Affective disorders may be underdiagnosed in this population.

CONCLUSIONS

More research is needed on the epidemiology of psychiatric illnesses and their contribution to suicide in this group.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical Center Hospital, Massachusetts, USA.

    Source

    MeSH

    Adult
    Age Factors
    Anxiety Disorders
    Asian Americans
    Bangladesh
    Cause of Death
    Depressive Disorder
    Domestic Violence
    Emigration and Immigration
    Female
    Humans
    India
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Pakistan
    Risk Factors
    Sex Factors
    Sri Lanka
    Suicide

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    8740494

    Citation

    Patel, S P., and A C. Gaw. "Suicide Among Immigrants From the Indian Subcontinent: a Review." Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), vol. 47, no. 5, 1996, pp. 517-21.
    Patel SP, Gaw AC. Suicide among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent: a review. Psychiatr Serv. 1996;47(5):517-21.
    Patel, S. P., & Gaw, A. C. (1996). Suicide among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent: a review. Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 47(5), pp. 517-21.
    Patel SP, Gaw AC. Suicide Among Immigrants From the Indian Subcontinent: a Review. Psychiatr Serv. 1996;47(5):517-21. PubMed PMID: 8740494.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Suicide among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent: a review. AU - Patel,S P, AU - Gaw,A C, PY - 1996/5/1/pubmed PY - 1996/5/1/medline PY - 1996/5/1/entrez SP - 517 EP - 21 JF - Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) JO - Psychiatr Serv VL - 47 IS - 5 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Studies of suicide among immigrants from the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) were examined to increase awareness of suicide risk and to better understand social and psychological factors contributing to suicide in this group. METHODS: An online search was conducted of MEDLINE for the years 1966 to 1994 and Psychological Abstracts for the years 1974 to 1994, and all references on completed suicides in the target population were selected for review. RESULTS: Suicide rates of young women immigrants from the Indian subcontinent are consistently higher than those of their male counterparts and of young women in the indigenous populations of the countries to which they immigrate. Suicide rates among older men in this immigrant group have been reported to be low, although reports are less consistent. Use of violent methods such as hanging, burning, and poisoning is common among both men and women. A disproportionately higher number of immigrant Hindus commit suicide. Family conflict appears to be a precipitating factor in many suicides, whereas mental illness is rarely cited as a cause. Depression, anxiety, and domestic violence may contribute to the high rates. Affective disorders may be underdiagnosed in this population. CONCLUSIONS: More research is needed on the epidemiology of psychiatric illnesses and their contribution to suicide in this group. SN - 1075-2730 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/8740494/Suicide_among_immigrants_from_the_Indian_subcontinent:_a_review_ L2 - https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/ps.47.5.517?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -