Using nationwide, 7-year population-based data for 1997-2003, we examined marital status to see if it predicted suicide among the ethnic Chinese population of Taiwan. Using cause of death data, with a case-control design, two groups-total adult suicide deaths, n=17,850, the study group, and adult deaths other than suicide, n=71,400 (randomly selected from age, sex, and geographic region matched controls, four per suicide)-were studied. Using multiple logistic regression analysis including age-marital status interaction, adjusted estimates show divorced status to be the most detrimental for suicide propensity, with males showing stronger effect size. Females never married, aged below 35 and 65-plus, and widowed 65-plus had lower suicide odds.
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