3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2014 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2016   
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INTENTIONAL SELF-HARM BY AGE

Median age

The median age at death for intentional self-harm in 2014 was 44.4 years for males, 43.6 years for females and 44.2 years overall. In comparison, the median age for deaths from all causes in 2014 was 78.5 years for males, 84.8 years for females and 81.8 years overall.


Age-specific rates

Age-specific death rates are the number of deaths during the reference year for specific age groups per 100,000 of the estimated resident population of the same age group (see the Glossary in this publication for further information). The pattern of age-specific rates in 2014 for suicide in males and females is shown in the graph below.



Graph Image for Age-specific Suicide(a) rates(b), 2014(c)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 85-92. (b) Rate per 100,000 estimated mid-year resident population for each age group and sex. (c) Causes of death data for 2014 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Explanatory Notes 68-94 and the Causes of Death Revisions 2012 and 2013 Technical Note in this publication.

Source(s): Age-specific Suicide(a) rates(b), 2014(c)-Age-specific_suicide_rates_2014



The highest age-specific suicide death rate for males in 2014 was observed in the 85 years and over age group (37.6 per 100,000 males). As a proportion of total male deaths in this age group, suicide deaths represented 0.3%. The second highest age-specific suicide rate was observed in the 40-44 year age groups, with 29.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 males. Suicide as a proportion of total male deaths for this age group was 18.3%. Excluding the 0-14 year age group, the age-specific suicide rate for males was lowest in the 15-19 year age group (12.1 deaths per 100,000). However, suicide accounted for over a third of all deaths in this age group (35.9%).

For females, the highest age-specific suicide death rate in 2014 was observed in the 35-39 year age group, with 9.2 deaths per 100,000. Outside of the 0-14 year age group, the lowest age-specific death rate for female deaths was in the 75-79 year age group (3.4 deaths per 100,000).


Age-standardised rates

Age standardisation is used to compare death rates over time, as it accounts for any changes in the age structure of a population. The age-standardised suicide rate for persons in 2014 was 12.0 per 100,000.

The age-standardised suicide rate in 2014 for males was 18.4 per 100,000 while the corresponding rate for females was 5.9 per 100,000.


Graph Image for Age-standardised death rates(a) for Suicide(b), 2005-2014

Footnote(s): (a) Age-standardised rate per 100,000. (b) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 87-93. (c) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2007-2012 (final), 2013 (revised), 2014 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 52-54 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 (cat. 3303.0) and Causes of Death Revisions, 2012 and 2013 in this publication.

Source(s): Age-standardised death rates(a) for Suicide(b), 2005-2014-Age-Standardised Death Rates for Suicide, 2005-2014




The following two tables present the number of deaths from suicide by age group for the combined 2010-2014 reference period. Table 3.1 shows the number of deaths from suicide and age-specific death rates by age group and sex. Table 3.2 shows the number of deaths from suicide by age group and state or territory of usual residence.


Table 3.1 Intentional self-harm, Number and age-specific rates of death by age group and sex, 2010-2014(a)(b)

Males
Males
Females
Females
Persons
Persons
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84, Y87.0)
no.
rate(c)(d)
no.
rate(c)(d)
no.
rate(c)(d)

5-14
43
0.6
45
0.7
88
0.6
15-24
1 215
15.4
472
6.3
1 687
10.9
25-34
1 738
21.0
493
6.1
2 231
13.6
35-44
2 035
25.7
653
8.1
2 688
16.9
45-54
1 912
25.3
608
7.9
2 520
16.5
55-64
1 304
20.3
425
6.5
1 729
13.4
65-74
710
16.1
221
4.9
931
10.5
75-84
517
22.5
151
5.4
668
13.1
85 and over
261
35.0
81
5.9
342
16.1
All ages(e)
9 735
17.2
3 152
5.5
12 887
11.3

(a) All causes of death data from 2006 are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2010-2012 (final), 2013 (revised), 2014 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 52-54 and the Causes of Death Revisions, 2012 and 2013 Technical Note in this publicaiton.
(b) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to intentional self-harm. See Explanatory Notes
85-92.
(c) Age-specific rates of deaths are the number of deaths per 100,000 population. See the Glossary and the Data used in calculating death rates Technical Note in this publication for further information.
(d) The age-specific rates published in this table are calculated for the 2010-2014 reference period. As such, they may differ from age-specific rates published elsewhere in Causes of Death, which are calculated for a single year.
(e) Includes deaths of persons whose age was not stated.
Table 3.2 Intentional self-harm, Number of deaths by age group and state or territory of usual residence, 2010-2014(a)(b)(c)

New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Aust. Capital Territory
Australia(d)
Age group (years)
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.

5-14
17
8
32
np
13
6
7
np
88
15-24
383
362
425
131
250
44
72
20
1 687
25-34
578
495
535
170
322
43
61
27
2 231
35-44
711
538
682
228
375
73
36
45
2 688
45-54
713
556
598
208
311
71
31
32
2 520
55-64
491
397
404
144
205
57
9
22
1 729
65-74
300
184
222
81
105
21
5
13
931
75-84
208
145
148
51
83
21
3
9
668
85 and over
119
78
67
np
32
14
0
np
342
All ages(e)
3 522
2 763
3 114
1 045
1 696
350
224
173
12 887

(a) All causes of death data from 2006 are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2010-2012 (final), 2013 (revised), 2014 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 52-54 and the Causes of Death Revisions, 2012 and 2013 Technical Note in this publication.
(b) For intentional-self harm deaths in the 5-14 year age group, data cells with small values have been suppressed (np) to protect the confidentiality of individuals. Consequential suppression of cells has also been applied in order to prevent back-calculation based on total figures. For all other age groups, data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals.
(c) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to intentional self-harm. See Explanatory Notes
85-92.
(d) Includes 'other territories'.
(e) Includes deaths of persons whose age was not stated.
Suicide deaths of children

Deaths of children by suicide is an extremely sensitive issue. The number of deaths of children attributed to suicide can be influenced by coronial reporting practices. Reporting practices may lead to differences in counts across jurisdictions and this should be taken into account when interpreting these data. For more information on issues associated with the compilation and interpretation of suicide data, see Explanatory Notes 85-92.

For the purposes of the following analysis, children are defined as those aged under 18 years of age. The ABS is not aware of any recorded suicide deaths of children under the age of 5 years. In 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death of children between 5 and 17 years of age. The age-specific rate of suicide in this age group was 2.3 per 100,000 in 2014. It is important to note that suicide rates in the overall population remain higher than for the 5-17 year age group, with 12.2 deaths per 100,000 of the overall population in 2014.


Table 3.3 Intentional self-harm in children aged 5-17 years, Australia, 2010-2014(a)(b)(c)

Age group (years)
2010

No./proportion
2010

Rate(d)
2011

No./proportion
2011

Rate(d)
2012

No./proportion
2012

Rate(d)
2013

No./proportion
2013

Rate(d)
2014

No./proportion
2014

Rate(d)

5-17 years
Males
Suicide
59
3.2
38
2.0
38
2.0
60
3.1
50
2.6
All causes
352
19.0
304
16.3
285
15.1
283
14.8
244
12.7
Proportion(e)
16.8
na
12.5
na
13.3
na
21.2
na
20.5
na
Females
Suicide
22
1.3
29
1.6
40
2.2
34
1.9
37
2.0
All causes
202
11.5
209
11.8
215
12.0
204
11.3
195
10.7
Proportion(e)
10.9
na
13.9
na
18.6
na
16.7
na
19.0
na
Persons
Suicide
81
2.2
67
1.8
78
2.1
94
2.5
87
2.3
All causes
554
15.4
513
14.1
500
13.6
487
13.1
439
11.7
Proportion(e)
14.6
na
13.1
na
15.6
na
19.3
na
19.8
na
All ages(d)
2 480
11.3
2 393
10.7
2 580
11.4
2 570
11.1
2 864
12.2

na Not applicable
(a) All causes of death data from 2006 are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2010-2012 (final), 2013 (revised), 2014 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 52-54 and the Causes of Death Revisions, 2012 and 2013 Technical Note in this publication.
(b) Cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.

(c) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 85-92.
(d) Crude death rate per 100,000 estimated resident population as at 30 June.
(e) Intentional self-harm deaths as a proportion of all deaths in the 5-17 year age group.

When all child suicide deaths are combined for years 2010 to 2014, the Northern Territory reported the highest jurisdictional rate of child deaths due to suicide, with 12.7 deaths per 100,000 of the population. All other states and territories reported rates ranging from 1.4 to 3.6 deaths per 100,000 (New South Wales and Tasmania, respectively). The corresponding rate for Australia for this age group was 2.2 deaths per 100,000 persons.

Death rates from suicide differ between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians. In the following analysis Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have been excluded, in line with national reporting guidelines (for information on issues with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification, see Explanatory Notes 57-66). For reference years 2010-2014 combined, 84 of the 305 suicide deaths of those aged 5-17 years were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with a age-specific death rate of 9.3 deaths per 100,000. In contrast, the age-specific death rate for non-Indigenous persons of the same age was 1.7 per 100,000.


Intentional self-harm by year of occurrence

While most data reported in the published outputs for Causes of Death, Australia are based upon the reference year of the death (see Explanatory Notes 7-11) the following section presents suicide deaths in terms of the year in which they occurred.

For the 2014 reference year, 10.4% of suicide deaths had a year of occurrence prior to 2014. This compares with the 2013 reference year where 9.4% of deaths occurred prior to 2013, and the 2012 reference year where 10.1% of deaths occurred prior to 2012.

The number of deaths that are registered in any year will be different to the number of deaths that actually occurred in that year. Counts of specific causes of death (including suicide) based on year of occurrence are available for 2003-2012 in the Year of Occurrence datacube.

The proportion of suicide deaths that occur in a previous reference period can impact the overall count of suicide deaths, along with coronial investigations not being finalised and the revisions process undertaken by the ABS.


Crisis helplines

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years): 1800 55 1800