September 12, 2006

Suicidal surnames?

Psychiatr Danub. 2006 Sep;18 Suppl 1:140.

Investigating surnames of males who committed suicide in a patrilineal society

Marusic A, Perman M, Zorko M, Kravanja M

Background: In a patrilineal surnames society a surname should correlate with a type of the Y chromosome. Aims: To study surnames of those who committed suicide and to investigate influence of various variables on the probability of suicide in subsamples of surnames at high suicide risk. Method: In a sample of records for all 186.443 deaths of males in the period 1985-2003 in Slovenia the following variables were studied: surname, mode of death, age and region of residency. The surname which exhibited at least 10 suicide deaths in the period and for which the proportion of suicide was significantly higher than the average was considered as a high risk surname. Results: The logistic regression linking the binary variable (suicide-other deaths) to other variables in 1213 males with the 5, 10 or 20 surnames that are most at risk showed that age, but not regionality, remained significant. Conclusion: Much of the regional variation can be attributed to the variation of the proportion of surnames at risk. Some evidence of the claim that when somebody moves between regions it is rather the "surname" that carries the information about propensity to suicide than the region they are in at the time of death.


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