Suicide mentality reflects lower mortality

January 16, 1998

PEOPLE at risk of commiting suicide are also more likely to die early from accidents or natural causes, according to a study running for the past 50 years.

More than 5,000 people born in one week in 1946 were studied as part of the National Survey of Health and Development. The researchers, from Britain and Holland, found that underlying characteristics, often related to suicide, such as emotional instability, aggression and behavioural problems in adolescence, also increased people's chances of premature death through other means.

The researchers, publishing their findings in last week's Lancet, says that there may be a common trait of self-destruction which leads people to take risks, and thereby risk accidental death or natural premature death, and ultimately to take their own lives.

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