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While suicide rates are low in the Philippines, increases in incidence and relatively high rates in adolescents and young adults point to the importance of focused suicide prevention programs.Improving data quality and better reporting of suicide deaths is likewise imperative to inform and evaluate prevention strategies.The only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, it is an archipelago of 7,106 islands, with 66% of the population living in urban areas [4–6].
Data for the Health Statistics were provided by the National Statistics Office (NSO), which is mandated by the Civil Registry Law (Republic Act No.
3753) to register all vital events in the country [11–13].
A systematic analysis of the possible underreporting of suicides is important so its true incidence and trends can be estimated.
To date, no studies of national trends in the incidence of suicide or the national epidemiology of suicidal behaviour have been undertaken using Philippine mortality data.
Suicide is a major contributor to premature mortality worldwide and is among the leading causes of death in the Western Pacific Region .
Approximately 32% of the world's suicides occur in the region, and its annual incidence of 19.3 per 100,000 is 30% higher than the global average .
Such an analysis is important both to provide a more complete picture of the size of the problem and to facilitate better informed decisions concerning priorities for prevention such as high risk age/sex groups and popular suicide methods that are potentially amenable to method-restriction policies.
Data on deaths from suicide, accidental poisoning, other accidents, and injury of undetermined intent occurring between 1974-2005 were obtained from the Philippine Health Statistics (PHS) produced by the Department of Health (DOH) .
Data for suicide deaths occurring between 19 were obtained from Philippine Health Statistics.
Age- and sex-specific trends were examined graphically.