Suicide rates in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: association with socioeconomic, cultural, and agricultural factors

Taxas de suicídio no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil: associação com fatores sócio-econômicos, culturais e agrários

Rio Grande do Sul State has the highest suicide rates in Brazil. Previous studies have suggested a possible role of agricultural activities, especially tobacco farming, where pesticide use is intensive. An ecological study was designed to assess associations between age-adjusted suicide rates based on death certificates and socioeconomic and agricultural factors. Suicide rates in males and females were inversely associated with schooling level and directly associated with divorce/marital separation. Rates for men were higher in areas where traditional Protestant religious were more prevalent, and rates for women were lower in areas with a higher proportion of single-inhabitant households. Multivariate analyses showed no associations between increased suicide rates and any of the agricultural variables. These results confirm the role of socioeconomic determinants of suicide, but do not support the hypothesis of a specific role of agricultural practices.

Mortality Rate; Rural Population; Religion; Educational Status; Suicide

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