The pattern of suicide in Pakistan.

M. M. Khan, H. Reza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


There is paucity of information on suicide from Pakistan, an Islamic country in which data collection poses formidable challenges. A variety of social, legal, and religious factors make reporting and diagnosing suicide difficult. Paradoxically, incidents of suicide are regularly reported in newspapers in Pakistan. In the absence of other means these reports serve a useful, though basic information source for suicidal deaths. A 2-year analysis of all such reports in a major newspaper in Pakistan showed 306 suicides reported from 35 cities. Men (n = 208) outnumbered women by 2:1. While there were more single than married men, the trend was reversed in women. The majority of subjects were under 30 years of age and "domestic problems" was the most common reason stated. More than half the subjects used organophosphate insecticides, while psychotropics and analgesics were used infrequently. The study challenges the widely held belief that suicide is a rare phenomena in an Islamic country like Pakistan, and underscores the need for more culture specific research on this important public health problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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