Volume 31, Issue 3 (July 1986)
Suicide in Fulton County, Georgia (1975–1984)
Demographic and trend analysis of 881 consecutive suicides in blacks and whites is presented. For the years 1975 through 1984, the suicide rate was 15.1/100 000 and did not significantly change. White males were overrepresented in all age groups, had an overall suicide rate of 34.9, and showed a small but statistically significant increase in rate which was not accounted for by any specific age group. White females, in general, were represented in proportion to their prevalence in the population, and those ages 20 to 24 demonstrated an increasing suicide rate which was small. Black males were at highest risk in their twenties, showed no significant trends, and were also represented near their prevalence in the population. Black females of all ages were underrepresented, and had low suicide rates which decreased with time. No significant rate changes were noted for teenagers or the elderly. Firearms was the method of choice in all groups, although methods varied with age, race, and sex, and male children preferred hanging. Small but significant increases were noted for the prevalence of nondrug methods in females and carbon monoxide deaths in white males. Similarities and differences to larger scale studies are discussed. Suicide may have characteristics unique to given geographical areas and pervasive to all areas. The authors advocate study and publication of local data to clarify further the nature of suicide.