Pattern of suicide in Nigeria: The Niger Delta experience

  • SAU Offiah
  • CC Obiorah
Keywords: Autopsy, Coroner, Euthanasia, Suicide attacks, Suicide pact


Background: Suicide is becoming a major public health problem.

Objective: To determine the pattern of suicide cases with respect to age, sex, and methods employed.

Design: A 10-year retrospective study of suicide cases reported to the Coroner in Rivers and Abia states of Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: Data on the age, sex, circumstances, and methods of all suicide cases handled by the authors were extracted and analyzed. Results: There were 32 cases (0.9%) of suicides out of a total of 3,555 medico-legal autopsies reviewed over the period. Of the 32 cases, 28 (87.5%) were males and 4 (12.5%) were females, giving a male to female ratio of 7:1. The age distribution showed a peak incidence in the third decade. The commonest method of committing suicide in this environment is by hanging. The range and mean of the ages is 16 – 64 yrs and 31 yrs, respectively.

Conclusion: This review shows that the choice of how to die often depends on the most available and most convenient means at hand. Women chose less violent means of suicide such as drowning or poisoning, while males often chose violent methods such as hanging or firearms.

Key words: Autopsy, Coroner, Euthanasia, Suicide attacks, Suicide pact


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2787-0170
print ISSN: 2787-0162