The Use of Pesticides in Suicide Attempts in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of Turkey

Ersin NAZLICAN, Burak METE, Nezihat Rana DİŞEL, Lut TAMAM
2022 33(4): 248-254
DOI: 10.5080/u26347
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Objective: In parallel with common usage areas, pesticide poisonings
are encountered in the community due to reasons such as no wearing of
protective clothing and masks during use, unintentional consumption
and suicide-intended intake. In this study was aimed to examine
the cases who applied to the emergency department with pesticide
poisoning and share of suicide cases.
Method: This study is a retrospective record study based on the files of
234 patients who reported to the emergency department for pesticide
and rodenticide poisoning between 2014 and 2018. The patients were
compared in terms of sociodemographic, substance type, prognosis,
and accident/suicide status. Chi-square test, Binary logistic regression
analysis were used in the analysis of the data.
Results: Organophosphates was the most common substance recorded
as a cause of poisoning, while rat poison placed second. 38% of the
acute poisoning cases were suicide attempts. Poisoning among men was
found to be prominently due to accident whiles among women suicidal
poisoning was more prominent. While the mortality rate is 4.7% in all
acute intoxication cases, the mortality rate in poisonings with suicidal
purposes is 5.6%. Patients with psychiatric diseases have a 28-fold
higher risk of intoxication of attempting suicide. The most common
comorbid psychiatric disorders in acute pesticide poisoning are anxiety
and depression.
Conclusion: A major proportion of pesticide poisoning cases is suicide
attempts. Suicide attempt is at the forefront in women and death rates
are higher in people with psychiatric illness. It may be advisable to avoid
the easy accessibility of pesticides.
Keywords: Pesticides, rodenticides, suicide