Epidemiology of Self-Immolation in the North-West of Iran
S. Dastgiri 1 * , L.R. Kalankesh 2, N. Pourafkary 3
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1 Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health ,and National Public Health Management Centre (NPMC), Tabriz, Iran
2 Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Department of Medical Records, Tabriz, Iran
3 Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, Tabriz, Iran
* Corresponding Author


Aim: This study was carried out to investigate the incidence, time trend, influencing factors and survival of self-immolation in the North-West of Iran. Methods: In this research, medical records of ninety eight cases who attempted suicide by selfimmolation between 1998 and 2003 were studied. Data collected included age, weight, sex, marital status, date of burn, length of stay in the hospital, body surface burned (in percent), external cause of death, psychiatric diagnosis of patients, and outcome. Incidence rates and descriptive statistics were calculated to document the epidemiological features of the selfimmolation in the region. Survival rates with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method to assess the survival pattern of the suicide by self-immolation. Results: The mean age of subjects was 27 years (range: 11-68 years). The female / male ratio was 3.3. Most of the cases were married (55 percent). There was an increasing trend in the incidence rate of self-immolation from 1998 (1.48 per 1000,000 population, CI95%: 0.2-2.8) to 2003 (7.7 per 1000,000 population, CI95%: 4.8-10.5). Two and five weeks survival rates for suicide by self-immolation were 25 percent (CI 95%: 16-34) and 15 (CI 95%: 6-24), respectively. Conclusion: Availability of family mental health centers, easy access to emergency services, and psycho-educational programmes to high-risk groups (i.e. young women) may reduce the increasing rate of self-immolation in the region.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Original Article


EUR J GEN MED, 2005 - Volume 2 Issue 1, pp. 14-19

Publication date: 15 Jan 2005

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