Blood alcohol concentration of suicide victims by partial hanging.

Abstract

During the investigated period, 2000-2007, 4249 suicides were reported in Slovenia, and 1061 autopsies of suicide deaths from the central, northwestern, and southwestern parts of Slovenia were conducted at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Ljubljana. To identify a possible role of alcohol use in the selection of suicide method blood samples were collected during medicolegal autopsies of suicide victims in order to establish their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of death. The study group consisted of 844 suicide victims that used violent suicide methods and 174 suicide victims that used non-violent suicide methods. Out of the group with violent suicide methods 184 (21.8%) suicide victims by partial hanging and 112 (13.3%) suicide victims by complete hanging were identified. The average age was higher in the group of suicide victims by partial hanging than in the group of suicide victims by complete hanging (p < 0.001; T = 3653; df = 294). The mean BAC was higher (T = 1.604; df = 278; p < 0.05) in the group of suicide victims by partial hanging (0.57 g/kg; SD ± 0.92) than in the group of suicide victims by complete hanging (0.40 g/kg; SD ± 0.82). The proportion of BAC positive suicide victims with blood alcohol concentration above 0.1 g/kg at the time of death was higher in the group of suicide victims who used non-violent suicide methods in comparison to the group of suicide victims who used violent suicide methods (p < 0.001; χ(2) = 14.988, df = 1). Partial hanging was almost twice as common as complete hanging. Higher BAC in the group of suicide victims by partial hanging and more BAC positive suicide victims in the group who died by non-violent suicide methods could give indications about the role of alcohol in the selection of suicide method.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.09.011

Cite this paper

@article{Zupanc2013BloodAC, title={Blood alcohol concentration of suicide victims by partial hanging.}, author={Toma{\vz} Zupanc and M. Agius and Alja Videti{\vc} Paska and Peter Pregelj}, journal={Journal of forensic and legal medicine}, year={2013}, volume={20 8}, pages={976-9} }