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The risk of suicide after deliberate self harm was significant and persistent over the long term

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 Q In patients who presented to a general hospital after deliberate self harm, what is the short term and long term risk of suicide?

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Embedded ImageDesign:

Inception cohort with median follow up of 10.8 years (follow up range 1 d to 23 y).

Embedded ImageSetting:

Accident and emergency departments in general hospitals in Oxford, UK.

Embedded ImagePatients:

11 583 patients (47% aged 10–24 y) who presented to a general hospital after deliberate self harm during the 20 year period between 1978 and 1997. 10 353 (89%) patients used self poisoning as the method of self harm.

Embedded ImageAssessment of prognostic factors:

A register was used to collect data on all deliberate self harm presentations to the general hospital in Oxford (including …

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  • For correspondence: Professor K Hawton, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK.

  • Source of funding: National Health Service Executive for England.