BACKGROUND: Traditionally, suicide rates were low in Islamic countries. However, the process of modernization can erode the ties of the individual to society and lead to questioning of religion and weakening of faith. Therefore, a cross-national study with the null hypothesis that there will be no relationship between general population suicide rates and the percentage of adherents of Islam was undertaken. METHODS: The correlation between general population suicide rates and the percentage of people in the general population adherent to Islam, whilst controlling for socioeconomic status and income inequality, was examined using cross-national data from the World Health Organisation and the United Nations. RESULTS: There were significant negative correlations between general population suicide rate and the percentage of people adherent to Islam in males and females whilst controlling for socioeconomic status and income inequality. CONCLUSIONS: Caution should be exercised in attributing a causal relationship and the direction of causality from this ecological study due to ecological fallacy. However, there is case to study further the impact of Islam on suicide by in-depth study of adherents Islam with and without suicidal ideation and behaviors.
J Inj Violence Res. 2010 Jun; 2(2): 93-7. doi:10.5249/jivr.v2i2.60
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