PURPOSE

The purpose of this report is to provide information to individuals interested in suicide mortality among Arizona residents. The data for 1997 are placed in a temporal context by comparison with the data for the preceding years.

METHODS AND SOURCES

Data on the number and characteristics of suicide deaths in Arizona were obtained from the death certificates filed with the Arizona Department of Health Services. Suicide is defined by the ICD codes* E950-E959 for underlying cause of death.

Population denominators for Arizona residents, used to calculate rates, are projections from the Population Statistics Unit in the Arizona Department of Economic Security (data for 1987-1989 and 1993-1997) and the U.S. Census Bureau (data for 1990 and data by ethnic group for 1997).

In order to obtain the 1991-1992 population denominators, the 1990 percentages of population breakdowns (or census shares) were applied to 1991 and 1992 total state or county population estimates published by the DES.

DATA ORGANIZATION

Tables 1, 3-5, 7-11, 18, 21 and 22 present annual rates and numbers of suicides from 1987 to 1997. Temporal trends and changes may be assessed from these data. Tables 12-14 and 16-20 describe suicide mortality among Arizona residents in 1997 by such factors as county of residence, method of self-injury, month of occurrence, marital status, gender and ethnicity. Tables 21 and 22 provide information about the number of suicide deaths by single year of age among persons 19 or younger and elderly 65 years and older. Table 23 provides evidence of striking differences in the risk of suicide death among native-born and non-native Arizonans.

*International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death Geneva: World Health Organization, 1977.