Suicide among Inuit: Results from a large, epidemiologically representative follow-back study in Nunavut

Eduardo Chachamovich, Laurence Kirmayer, John Haggarty, Margaret CARGO, Rod McCormick, Gustavo Turecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The Inuit population in Canada's North has suffered from high rates of death by suicide. We report on the first large-scale, controlled, epidemiologically representative study of deaths by suicide in an Indigenous population, which investigates risk factors for suicide among all Inuit across Nunavut who died by suicide during a 4-year period. Methods: We identified all suicides by Inuit (n = 120) that occurred between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006, in Nunavut. For each subject, we selected a community-matched control subject. We used proxy-based procedures and conducted structured interviews with informants to obtain life histories, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Axis I and II diagnoses, and measures of impulsive and (or) aggressive traits. Results: Compared with control subjects, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have experienced childhood abuse (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.39 to 4.08), have family histories of major depressive disorder (P = 0.002) and suicide completion (P = 0.02), and have been affected by major depressive disorder (OR 13.00; 95% CI 6.20 to 27.25), alcohol dependence (OR 2.90; 95% CI 1.59 to 5.24), or cannabis dependence (OR 3.96; 95% CI 2.29 to 6.8) in the last 6 months. In addition, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have been affected with cluster B personality disorders (OR 10.18; 95% CI 3.34 to 30.80) and had higher scores of impulsive and aggressive traits (P < 0.001). Conclusions: At the individual level, clinical risk factors for suicide among Inuit are similar to those observed in studies with the general population, and indicate a need for improved access to mental health services. The high rate of mental health problems among control subjects suggests the need for population-level mental health promotion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalThe Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Nunavut
Suicide
Major Depressive Disorder
Mental Health
Marijuana Abuse
Population
Personality Disorders
Mental Health Services
Proxy
Health Promotion
Population Groups
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Alcoholism
Health Status
Canada

Cite this

Chachamovich, Eduardo ; Kirmayer, Laurence ; Haggarty, John ; CARGO, Margaret ; McCormick, Rod ; Turecki, Gustavo. / Suicide among Inuit: Results from a large, epidemiologically representative follow-back study in Nunavut. In: The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2015 ; Vol. 60, No. 6. pp. 268-275.
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title = "Suicide among Inuit: Results from a large, epidemiologically representative follow-back study in Nunavut",
abstract = "Objective: The Inuit population in Canada's North has suffered from high rates of death by suicide. We report on the first large-scale, controlled, epidemiologically representative study of deaths by suicide in an Indigenous population, which investigates risk factors for suicide among all Inuit across Nunavut who died by suicide during a 4-year period. Methods: We identified all suicides by Inuit (n = 120) that occurred between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006, in Nunavut. For each subject, we selected a community-matched control subject. We used proxy-based procedures and conducted structured interviews with informants to obtain life histories, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Axis I and II diagnoses, and measures of impulsive and (or) aggressive traits. Results: Compared with control subjects, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have experienced childhood abuse (OR 2.38; 95{\%} CI 1.39 to 4.08), have family histories of major depressive disorder (P = 0.002) and suicide completion (P = 0.02), and have been affected by major depressive disorder (OR 13.00; 95{\%} CI 6.20 to 27.25), alcohol dependence (OR 2.90; 95{\%} CI 1.59 to 5.24), or cannabis dependence (OR 3.96; 95{\%} CI 2.29 to 6.8) in the last 6 months. In addition, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have been affected with cluster B personality disorders (OR 10.18; 95{\%} CI 3.34 to 30.80) and had higher scores of impulsive and aggressive traits (P < 0.001). Conclusions: At the individual level, clinical risk factors for suicide among Inuit are similar to those observed in studies with the general population, and indicate a need for improved access to mental health services. The high rate of mental health problems among control subjects suggests the need for population-level mental health promotion",
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Suicide among Inuit: Results from a large, epidemiologically representative follow-back study in Nunavut. / Chachamovich, Eduardo; Kirmayer, Laurence; Haggarty, John; CARGO, Margaret; McCormick, Rod; Turecki, Gustavo.

In: The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 60, No. 6, 2015, p. 268-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Suicide among Inuit: Results from a large, epidemiologically representative follow-back study in Nunavut

AU - Chachamovich, Eduardo

AU - Kirmayer, Laurence

AU - Haggarty, John

AU - CARGO, Margaret

AU - McCormick, Rod

AU - Turecki, Gustavo

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Objective: The Inuit population in Canada's North has suffered from high rates of death by suicide. We report on the first large-scale, controlled, epidemiologically representative study of deaths by suicide in an Indigenous population, which investigates risk factors for suicide among all Inuit across Nunavut who died by suicide during a 4-year period. Methods: We identified all suicides by Inuit (n = 120) that occurred between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006, in Nunavut. For each subject, we selected a community-matched control subject. We used proxy-based procedures and conducted structured interviews with informants to obtain life histories, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Axis I and II diagnoses, and measures of impulsive and (or) aggressive traits. Results: Compared with control subjects, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have experienced childhood abuse (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.39 to 4.08), have family histories of major depressive disorder (P = 0.002) and suicide completion (P = 0.02), and have been affected by major depressive disorder (OR 13.00; 95% CI 6.20 to 27.25), alcohol dependence (OR 2.90; 95% CI 1.59 to 5.24), or cannabis dependence (OR 3.96; 95% CI 2.29 to 6.8) in the last 6 months. In addition, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have been affected with cluster B personality disorders (OR 10.18; 95% CI 3.34 to 30.80) and had higher scores of impulsive and aggressive traits (P < 0.001). Conclusions: At the individual level, clinical risk factors for suicide among Inuit are similar to those observed in studies with the general population, and indicate a need for improved access to mental health services. The high rate of mental health problems among control subjects suggests the need for population-level mental health promotion

AB - Objective: The Inuit population in Canada's North has suffered from high rates of death by suicide. We report on the first large-scale, controlled, epidemiologically representative study of deaths by suicide in an Indigenous population, which investigates risk factors for suicide among all Inuit across Nunavut who died by suicide during a 4-year period. Methods: We identified all suicides by Inuit (n = 120) that occurred between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006, in Nunavut. For each subject, we selected a community-matched control subject. We used proxy-based procedures and conducted structured interviews with informants to obtain life histories, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Axis I and II diagnoses, and measures of impulsive and (or) aggressive traits. Results: Compared with control subjects, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have experienced childhood abuse (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.39 to 4.08), have family histories of major depressive disorder (P = 0.002) and suicide completion (P = 0.02), and have been affected by major depressive disorder (OR 13.00; 95% CI 6.20 to 27.25), alcohol dependence (OR 2.90; 95% CI 1.59 to 5.24), or cannabis dependence (OR 3.96; 95% CI 2.29 to 6.8) in the last 6 months. In addition, subjects who died by suicide were more likely to have been affected with cluster B personality disorders (OR 10.18; 95% CI 3.34 to 30.80) and had higher scores of impulsive and aggressive traits (P < 0.001). Conclusions: At the individual level, clinical risk factors for suicide among Inuit are similar to those observed in studies with the general population, and indicate a need for improved access to mental health services. The high rate of mental health problems among control subjects suggests the need for population-level mental health promotion

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JO - The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

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