Background/Purpose: Few studies have compared methods of suicide used by women in different countries. This study compared methods used by women in South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden and the United States. Methods: Age- and method-specific suicide rates for women in the four countries in 2002 were calculated and compared. Hanging, firearms and jumping from a height were classified as violent suicide methods. Poisoning suicides were further classified according to use of drugs, gases, pesticides and other agents. Results: Half of Taiwanese and American women used violent methods, while only one third of women in South Korea and Sweden used such methods. Poisoning was the most often used suicide method by women in all four countries. About 90% of American and Swedish women used drugs. In contrast, almost half of women from Korea and Taiwan used pesticides. Conclusion: Different countries contrast greatly in the agents used in suicide by poisoning but not in patterns of violent methods used.
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