266367 Suicidal Ideation and Prevention among California Adults: Identifying Populations at Risk using the 2009 California Health Interview Survey

Monday, October 29, 2012

Julia Caldwell, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD , Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of California Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA
Background: Consistently among the top 10 leading causes of death, suicide is a major public health concern with an average of nine suicide deaths per day in California. A new module on suicidal ideation and attempts was added to the 2009 California Health Interview Survey.

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempts among California adults and identify those subpopulations at greatest risk of intentional death.

Methods: Prevalence and risk factors are explored using the five-question suicidal ideation and attempts module along with many covariates from the large, multi-lingual, representative CHIS 2009 sample.

Results: Analysis of CHIS 2009 estimates that 8.7% [8.1-9.4] of California adults seriously thought about committing suicide in their lifetime, 1.8% [1.5-2.2] thought about committing suicide in the past 12 months, 2.6% [2.3-3.0] attempted suicide in their lifetime, and 0.2% [0.07-0.39] made an attempt in the past 12 months. These rates are comparable to California estimates from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. CHIS data reveal significant disparities in suicide ideation. For example, among those who experienced serious psychological distress in the past year, 18.1% had seriously thought about suicide in the past 12 months, compared to 0.7% who did not experience distress. Sexual minorities and disabled individuals also report higher suicide ideation rates.

Conclusions: Estimates provided by CHIS 2009 enable the public health community to more adequately address and allocate resources for at risk populations. Suicide prevention efforts in California can be better targeted by utilizing estimates from CHIS.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify suicide ideation and behavior rates among California adults based on five measures. Benchmark CHIS estimates with those from the NSDUH. Identify subpopulations and the geographic distribution of populations at risk for suicide in California. Aid the targeting of culturally and linguistically appropriate suicide prevention efforts to those populations at greatest risk.

Keywords: Suicide, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a second-year PhD student in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. I am also a Graduate Student Researcher with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and assists on the California Health Interview Survey. I received a MPH in Community Health Sciences from UCLA, and a BA in Anthropology from UC Irvine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3291.0: Psychiatric epidemiology