The July 2007 issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences presents the results of a retrospective study examining Medical Examiner cases of suicide in the state of Kentucky over a 10-year period (1993-2002). Previous research examining incidence of suicide in schizophrenics determined that an estimated 10-13 percent of schizophrenics commit suicide. Based on study results, the majority of cases were male (62.1 percent) and the average age at time of death was 41.6 years. Firearm injury was the leading cause of death for both males and females (48.3 percent) followed by overdose (20.7 percent) and hanging (13.8%). The researchers discuss their findings in terms of biopsychosocial factors that lead to suicide and the need for careful psychological autopsies to examine ways to prevent suicide in high-risk populations.
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