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Keywords:

  • prevalence;
  • risk factor;
  • suicide;
  • World Mental Health Survey

Aim:  Suicide is a major public health concern in Japan but little is known about the prevalence of and risk factors for suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts. The aim of the present study was to clarify the prevalence of and risk factors for important suicide-related outcomes.

Methods:  Important suicide-related outcomes and risk factors were assessed in face-to-face interviews with 2436 adult respondents in seven areas as part of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Survey Initiative. Mental disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).

Results:  The lifetime prevalence estimates of suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts were 10.9%, 2.1%, and 1.9%, respectively. Risk of suicide plans and attempts was highest when suicidal ideation occurred at an early age and within the first year of ideation. In middle-aged individuals, the period after first employment and the presence of mental disorders were risk factors.

Conclusions:  Risk of suicide plans and attempts is highest when suicidal ideation occurred at an earlier age and within the first year of ideation. Mental disorders are as predictive of the suicide-related outcomes examined here, and comorbidity is an important predictor.