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A comparative study of suicidal deaths during the pre-COVID and COVID periods

Authors:

Y. Tyagi,

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, IN
About Y.

Department of Forensic Medicine

 

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India

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M. S. Meena,

National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, NIMS University, Jaipur, IN
About M. S.
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
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J. Kumar,

Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, IN
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S. Mittal,

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, IN
About S.

Department of Forensic Medicine

 

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India

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R. K. Soni

National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, NIMS University, Jaipur, IN
About R. K.
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
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Abstract

Present study was undertaken to observe the change in pattern of unnatural deaths, particularly suicidal deaths between regular periods, i.e., Pre-COVID and a pandemic period, i.e., COVID period at a tertiary care hospital of New Delhi, India. The data was collected from the records of post-mortem reports of autopsies done at Dr. R.M.L. Hospital, New Delhi, between 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019 (Pre-COVID period) and 1st April 2020 to 30th September 2020 (COVID period). The data collected was subjected to statistical analysis concerning incidence rate, Odds ratio (OR), numbers, percentage, age, gender, and suicide methods. Findings suggests a notable change in the pattern of unnatural deaths, particularly suicidal deaths in the population of Delhi, India, due to the impact of COVID and nationwide lockdown following the first wave of the COVID pandemic, apart from an increase in natural deaths. There was a significant decrease in accidental and homicidal deaths, whereas a 61% increase was observed in suicidal deaths during the COVID period compared to the Pre-COVID period. The difference in the number of suicidal deaths out of total unnatural deaths during the Pre-COVID and COVID period was found to be significant (P-value <0.0001). As the duration of lockdown period was being extended, suicidal deaths kept on increasing, with a peak seen during the last months of the COVID period. Both the males and females showed significant rise in suicidal deaths, the percentage increase was found to be more among males than females, i.e., 62% and 59% respectively. Variations in suicidal death rates was observed in different age groups. In both the genders increase in the suicidal deaths was observed in the age group of 30-40 years, while it decreased in 40-50 years of age group.
How to Cite: Tyagi, Y., Meena, M.S., Kumar, J., Mittal, S. and Soni, R.K., 2022. A comparative study of suicidal deaths during the pre-COVID and COVID periods. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 13(2), pp.6–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v13i2.7892
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Published on 16 Dec 2022.
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