Background: Suicide is a leading preventable cause of mortality worldwide. Suicide rates in Lebanon are unknown, as reported numbers are extrapolated and modeled over neighboring countries with poor quality of vital registration data. Methods: Numbers of death by suicide were obtained from the Internal Security Forces records from January 2008 through December 2018. Records from 2011 through 2018 specified the gender of the individual, the means of the suicide, the date and place of suicide. As of March 2014, nationality of the individual was recorded. Results: The total recorded number of completed suicides over 11 years is 1366 with an annual rate ranging between 1.87 and 2.4 per 100,000 capita. The male to female ratio was 2:1. Death by firearms (41.4 %) was the most common means used, followed by hanging (26.5 %), jumping from a height (13.6 %), and poisoning (13.5 %). Males were more likely to use firearms while females were more likely to use hanging or jumping from a height (p < 0.001), the latter being a common finding in non-Lebanese nationals (Ethiopian). Suicides were most common in Mount Lebanon and least common in Nabatieh governates, while their distribution across seasons was similar. Conclusion: In Lebanon, like most of the Middle Eastern countries, suicide is a social and religious taboo. Our study shows a sizable prevalence of suicide rates, particularly after national efforts to improve awareness and reporting. Suicide means and vulnerable populations should be at the heart of targeted prevention strategies.
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© 2021 Elsevier B.V.
- Middle East
- Public health