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Completed Suicides in Colorado: Differences between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites

Authors

  • Marian E. Betz MD, MPH,

    1. Marian E.Betz and Steven R.Lowenstein, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado; Sara M.Krzyzaniak, Denver Health Emergency Medicine Residency, Denver, Colorado; HollyHedegaard, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado, USA.
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  • Sara M. Krzyzaniak MD,

    1. Marian E.Betz and Steven R.Lowenstein, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado; Sara M.Krzyzaniak, Denver Health Emergency Medicine Residency, Denver, Colorado; HollyHedegaard, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado, USA.
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  • Holly Hedegaard MD, MSPH,

    1. Marian E.Betz and Steven R.Lowenstein, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado; Sara M.Krzyzaniak, Denver Health Emergency Medicine Residency, Denver, Colorado; HollyHedegaard, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado, USA.
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  • Steven R. Lowenstein MD, MPH

    1. Marian E.Betz and Steven R.Lowenstein, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado; Sara M.Krzyzaniak, Denver Health Emergency Medicine Residency, Denver, Colorado; HollyHedegaard, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado, USA.
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  • Presented in poster format at the September 2010 American College of Emergency Physicians meeting.

  • This study was supported in part by the Emergency Medicine Foundation and by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U17CE823101 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Address correspondence to Marian E. Betz, MD, MPH, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 12401 E. 17th Ave (B-215), Aurora, CO 80045; E-mail: marian.betz@ucdenver.edu

Abstract

All suicides by Hispanics (n = 434) and non-Hispanic Whites (n = 3,370) in Colorado from 2004 to 2008 using the Violent Death Reporting System were examined. Hispanic victims were significantly younger. Adjusting for age and gender, Hispanic victims were less likely to have reported depressed mood [odds ratio (OR) 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63–0.97], mental health diagnosis (OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.41–0.7), or current psychiatric treatment (OR 0.47; 95% CI 0.43–0.77). There were no differences in reports of financial, relationship, job, or legal stresses. Hispanic suicides were equally likely to be by overdose, firearm, or hanging, but more likely to be in jail (OR 2.68; 95% CI 1.55–4.65). To prevent suicides, stronger partnerships are needed among public health, medical, mental health, and criminal justice professionals.

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