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A Survey of Characteristics of Self-Immolation in theNorthern Iran


Ahmadi M, Ranjbaran H, Azadbakht M, Heidari Gorji MA, Heidari Gorji AM

Background: Suicide is an action deliberately initiated and performed by a person with complete awareness of its fatal outcome, prevalence of which is very rare in developed countries, but it is reported with more frequency in Middle East including Iran. Aim: This study was carried out to analyze the characteristics, mortality, and related factors of burned patients who attempted to suicide by self‑immolation in Northern Iran. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, the archived files of 101 cases that referred to the main burn care center located in northern Iran (Included: Mazadaran, Golestan cities) ‑ cause of suicide attempting by self‑immolation during 2 years 2010‑2011, analyzed. A record sheet designed to extract data such as: Age, education, occupation, gender, residence, marital status, drug abuse, and extent of the burn injuries as a percent of burned total body surface area (TBSA). Results: The incidence rate of suicide attempted cases were 1.98/100,000 person‑years. The mean ages for cases were 31.8 (13.6). The mean age for males and females were 36.1 (14.8) and 30.1 (12.9) years, respectively. In, about 84% (84/101) of the patient’s burned TBSA was more than 40% (41/101). Burn injuries were more frequent, larger, and included higher mortality in females than males. Kerosene was the most common used material to self‑burning. The mortality rate was about 74% (74/101), which showed a high mortality rate in this study. Other social factors such as marital status, employment, and education level have a role as individually protective or risk factors for self‑burning. Conclusion: Finding of the current study manifested high rate of suicide by self‑immolation among young, married, and low educated women in Northern Iran. It implies a social problem, and need to an arrangement of a cultural program aimed to improving health, psychological habits and educational level.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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