Self-reported suicidal behaviours and associated factors in the general population of Latvia (2010-2018)

Krista Mieze (Coresponding Author), Anda Kivite-Urtane, Daiga Grinberga, Biruta Velika, Iveta Pudule, Elmars Rancans

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BACKGROUND: Latvia has the second highest suicide rate in the European Union - with a total population age-standardized suicide rate of 16.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.

AIMS: We aimed to assess the prevalence of different types of self-reported suicidal behaviours in Latvia and determine the associated sociodemographic and health-related factors.

METHODS: This study was based on secondary data obtained from the Health Behaviour Among Latvian Adult Population survey. A representative sample of the general population was used, aged 15 to 64 years in 2010, 2012, 2014; and 15 to 74 years in 2016 and 2018 ( n  = 16,084). Respondents were asked to report the occurrence of life weariness, death wishes, suicidal ideation, suicidal plans and suicide attempts during the previous year. We assessed socio-demographics and health-related factors associated with suicidality. We performed univariate analysis and constructed stepwise multivariate logistic regression models.

RESULTS: In 2010 to 2018, 15.6% of responders reported some type of suicidal behaviour (95% CI [15.1, 16.2]). Sociodemographic factors - including non-cohabitation status and Latvian nationality - were associated with mild (life-weariness and death wishes) and serious (suicidal ideation, plans to commit suicide, suicide attempts) types of behaviour. Older age was associated with mild suicidal behaviours, whereas lower educational levels were associated with serious suicidal behaviours. Diagnosed depression, self-reported depression, self-reported anxiety, stress, low mood, alcohol intake habits with heavy drinking episodes (less than monthly, monthly and weekly), perceived health as average or below average, disuse of primary health services were associated with mild and serious types of suicidal behaviour. Current smoking status and absenteeism were associated with mild suicidal behaviour types. Self-reported insomnia, having at least two somatic diagnoses, occasional smoking status, absenteeism with 11 or more days in the last year, receiving disability pension were associated with serious suicidal behaviour types. Musculoskeletal diseases exhibited preventive effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that certain groups of individuals might exhibit greater vulnerability to suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207640231174365
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2023


  • Suicidal behaviour
  • suicidality
  • suicide
  • Latvia

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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