Lifetime disadvantage and suicide in the ONS Longitudinal Study

Sara Magnusson and Paula Zaninotto, University College London

[Project number 30114]

The intention of this project is to investigate lifetime disadvantage and risk of suicide. From previous suicide individual level studies using the Longitudinal Study (i.e. Lewis & Sloggett 1998) it has been found that economic activity measures such as unemployment are more detrimental in terms of suicide than social class measures. 11 % of suicide cases could be due to unemployment (Population Attributable Fraction) in the younger working age group. This effect was even stronger when the authors looked back in time for economic activity status at the previous Census.

The LS offers a long time frame of study and follow up and provides the opportunity to study changes over time in social status and economic activity.

Primary aims of the study

  • What indicator of socioeconomic status is the more important in relation to suicide risk?
  • Is cumulative disadvantage related to increased suicide risk?
  • Secondary aims:

  • If cumulative disadvantage is related to increased suicide risk, does this relationship show a trend?
  • If cumulative disadvantage is related to increased suicide risk, is it a dependent or independent effect?
  • If cumulative disadvantage is related to increased suicide risk, is the effect weaker in analysis stratified by destination SES (last recorded SES in Census)?