Consistency of immigrant and country-of-birth suicide rates: a meta-analysis
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 118, Issue 4, pages 259–271, October 2008
How to Cite
Voracek, M. and Loibl, L. M. (2008), Consistency of immigrant and country-of-birth suicide rates: a meta-analysis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 118: 259–271. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01238.x
- Issue published online: 10 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 8 AUG 2008
- Accepted for publication June 13, 2008
- genetic epidemiology;
- migrant studies;
Objective: Multifaceted evidence (family, twin, adoption, molecular genetic, geographic and surname studies of suicide) suggests genetic risk factors for suicide. Migrant studies are also informative in this context, but underused. In particular, a meta-analysis of the associations of immigrant (IMM) and country-of-birth (COB) suicide rates is unavailable.
Method: Thirty-three studies, reporting IMM suicide rates for nearly 50 nationalities in seven host countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, England, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA), were retrieved.
Results: Total-population IMM and COB suicide rates were strongly positively associated (combined rank-order correlation across 20 eligible studies: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.56–0.73, P < 10−9). The effect generalized across both sexes, host countries and study periods.
Conclusion: Following the logic of the migrant study design of genetic epidemiology, the correspondence of IMM and COB suicide rates is consistent with the assumption of population differences in the prevalence of genetic risk factors for suicide.