Precipitating Circumstances of Suicide and Alcohol Intoxication Among U.S. Ethnic Groups. Academic Article uri icon


  • Our goal was to assess the prevalence of 9 different types of precipitating circumstances among suicide decedents, and examine the association between circumstances and postmortem blood alcohol concentration (BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl) across U.S. ethnic groups.Data come from the restricted 2003 to 2011 National Violent Death Reporting System, with postmortem information on 59,384 male and female suicide decedents for 17 U.S. states.Among men, precipitating circumstances statistically associated with a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl were physical health and job problems for Blacks, and experiencing a crisis, physical health problems, and intimate partner problem for Hispanics. Among women, the only precipitating circumstance associated with a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl was substance abuse problems other than alcohol for Blacks. The number of precipitating circumstances present before the suicide was negatively associated with a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics.Selected precipitating circumstances were associated with a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl, and the strongest determinant of this level of alcohol intoxication prior to suicide among all ethnic groups was the presence of an alcohol problem.Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

publication date

  • August 2015