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Health in France

French Suicides Outstrip Road Deaths

Monday 16 April 2007

French television screens regularly broadcast horrifying stories about the carnage on the roads in France, but a report published last month highlighted the equally devastating figures on suicides in the country.

France has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe, with 10,798 deaths in 2004, twice the number of people killed on the roads.

Someone takes their life in France at least once an hour, and it is the first cause of death of those aged between 35-44 and the second cause of death of those aged 15-24.

Whilst the number of young people committing suicide has declined in recent years, 621 adolescents ended their life in 2004, and as many as 40,000 young people attempted suicides. Three quarters of all suicides are amongst men, whom doctors consider are less able or willing to seek assistance than females.

The suicide rate for males in France is 26.1 per 100,000, whilst for females it is 9.3 per 100,000.

The comparative rates for the UK are 11.8 and 3.3 per 100,000.

The highest suicide rate in Europe is in Hungary, where the rate amongst males is 47 per 100,000.

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