Suicide in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1951 through 1985

D. E. McAlpine, L. A. Panser, D. W. Swanson, W. M. O'Fallon, L. J. Melton

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During the 35-year period 1951 through 1985, 274 completed suicides occurred among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota. The overall age- and sex-adjusted incidence was 12.5 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval, 11.0 to 14.0), similar to the national averages, and rates were comparable for urban and rural portions of the county. Men outnumbered women 3.6 to 1, and the sex ratio of age-adjusted incidence rates was 4.5:1. The incidence rates increased after middle age for men but not for women. The most common suicide methods were gunshot wounds for men and poisoning for women. Two-thirds of the suicides occurred at home and were usually discovered by family members or friends. Almost half of all suicide victims were unmarried. This figure seems high, as does the greater proportion of unemployed persons than employed persons among those who committed suicide, but denominator data are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

McAlpine, D. E., Panser, L. A., Swanson, D. W., O'Fallon, W. M., & Melton, L. J. (1990). Suicide in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1951 through 1985. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 65(1), 13-22.