Suicide attempts and serious suicide threats in the city of Riga and resulting contacts with medical services

E. Rancans, I. Alka, E. S. Renberg, L. Jacobsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acute treatment of persons attempting suicide is recognized as very important in a prevention context. The aim of this study is to describe the medical services available to patients who have made suicide attempts or serious threats to commit suicide (SAST) within the city of Riga, to trace their passage through the various medical facilities, and to estimate SAST rates. Data for 1999 were collected from electronic case reports of the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in Riga and monitoring forms of suicide attempters in Riga Psychoneurological Hospital (RPH) and Narcological Hospital (NH). In 1999 the first contact with the medical service in Riga for 95% of all cases (1024) was the EMS. Of the cases, 51.8% were treated at the general and 17.0% at the orthopaedic hospital. Of all SAST patients 99% have been assessed by at least one psychiatrist, and 43.8% were admitted to the psychiatric hospital at some time. The overall rate of suicide attempts is 149 per 100 000. The male to female ratio for SAST in Riga for individuals aged 15 years and more was 1:0.9. The highest figures were for females aged 15-24 and men aged 25-34. Females used poisonings in 75% of cases, but males used violent suicide methods in 60% of cases, most often involving cutting and associated with the use of alcohol. Data from existing medical services provide reasonably good information on the SAST population in Riga City.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Latvia
  • Methods
  • Sex
  • Suicide attempts

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

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


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