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Table 2 Estimates of suicide rates and the contribution of pesticides to suicide in India

From: The global distribution of fatal pesticide self-poisoning: Systematic review

Author Years covered (no. suicides) Setting Estimated total (all methods) suicide rate Estimates of the proportion of suicides (or episodes of self-harm) due to pesticides
Nandi et al. [89] 1976–7 (n = 101) Districts in West Bengal (rural) Daspur area: 29 per 100,000 58% due to endrin (a pesticide)
    Chandrakona area: 5 per 100,000 37% due to endrin
Bannerjee et al. [90] 1978 (n = 58) Villages in Deganga, West Bengal (rural) 43 per 100,000 93% suicides due to self-poisoning ("almost exclusively)" organophosphorus pesticides
Shukla et al. [91] 1986–7 (n = 187) Jhansi City, Uttar Pradesh (urban) 29 per 100,000 10% (insecticides and rat poison).
Bhatia et al. [92] Not stated (n = 55) Delhi (urban and rural areas) - Only 13% of suicides had self-poisoned (all substances)
Joseph et al. [64] 1994–9 (n = 609) Villages in Kaniyambadi (rural), Tamil Nadu 95 per 100,000 45% self-poisoning (all substances). 40% of the suicides in 15–19 year olds used pesticides in 1992–2001 [93]
Lalwani et al. [94] 1991–2000 (n = 222) New Delhi (urban) - 10–18 year olds: poisoning accounted for 49% of male and 37% female suicides. Pesticides were commonest poisons recorded.
Gururaj et al. [95] 2001–2 (n = 269) Bangalore (urban) - 28% (male) and 19% (female) suicides were self-poisoning (all substances).
Kumar et al. [96] 1994–2004 (n = 441) Mannipal (rural) - >55% insecticides
Prasad et al. [65] 2000–2002 (n = 306) Villages in Kaniyambadi (rural), Tamil Nadu 92 per 100,000 Organophosphorus pesticides accounted for 40.5% of suicides
Mohanty et al. [97] 2000–2003 (n = 588) Berhampur (rural and urban) - 30.6% of all suicides were self-poisoning (>70% used pesticides)
Bose et al. [66] 1998–2004 (n = 638) Villages in Kaniyambadi (rural), Tamil Nadu 82 per 100,000 40% poisoning (majority pesticides)
Sharma et al. [98] 1996–2005 (n = 1421) Chandigarh (rural and urban) - Aluminium phosphide accounts for 24% of all suicides; organophosphorus and organochlorine products 10%
Gajalakshmi et al. [67] 1997–8 (n = 3,249) Villpuram district (rural), Tamil Nadu 62 per 100,000 53% self-poisoning ("generally involved agrochemicals")
Kumar P et al. [99] 2001 and 2005 (n = 200) Six districts in rural Punjab 12.4 per 100,000 (2001) 13.1 per 100,000 (2005) Pesticide/poison used in 77% (154/200) suicides studied.
  1. Reasonable estimate of Indian suicide rate from these data: 40 per 100,000 (lower limit: 10 per 100,000 Indian Police Statistics [58]); upper limit 80 per 100,000 Tamil Nadu [64] [65] [66] [67].