Gender-specific differences and the impact of family integration on time trends in age-stratified Swiss suicide rates

Andrea Riebler*, Leonhard Held, Haavard Rue, Matthias Bopp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Suicide has become one of the leading causes of death of Swiss males aged between 15 and 44 years, whose age-standardized rates are about three times higher than those for females. We compared age-stratified suicide rates of Swiss men and women aged 15-79 years and analysed gender-specific differences from 1950 to 2007. Furthermore, we explored whether changes in measures of family integration can explain changes in suicide trends. The use of multivariate age-period-cohort models avoids age aggregation and allows the exploration of heterogeneous time trends across age, period and birth cohort. In addition, explanatory variables can be included. We found strong gender-specific differences in suicide mortality. Although the same risk factors may act on age and overdispersion, there was no significant correlation between gender-specific cohort effects. Family integration had an effect on Swiss suicide risk but only partially explained the underlying trends over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-490
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Age-period-cohort model
  • Bayesian analysis
  • Family integration
  • Suicide
  • Switzerland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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