Case-control study of suicide in Karachi, Pakistan

Murad Moosa Khan, Sadia Mahmud, Mehtab S. Karim, Mohammad Zaman, Martin Prince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Background: in recent years suicide has become a major public health problem in Pakistan. Aims: To identify major risk factors associated with suicides in Karachi, Pakistan. Method: A matched case-control psychological autopsy study, interviews were conducted for 100 consecutive suicides, which were matched for age, gender and area of residence with 100 living controls. Results: Both univariate analysis and conditional logistic regression model results indicate that predictors of suicides in Pakistan are psychiatric disorders (especially depression), marital status (being married), unemployment, and negative and stressful life events. Only a few individuals were receiving treatment at the time of suicide. None of the victims had been in contact with a health professional in the month before suicide. Conclusions: Suicide in Pakistan is strongly associated with depression, which is under-recognised and under-treated. The absence of an effective primary healthcare system in which mental health could be integrated poses unique challenges for suicide prevention in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-405
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


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