The British Journal of Psychiatry
Suicide among Chinese schizophrenics in Hong Kong.
K K Cheng, C M Leung, W H Lo, T H Lam


A descriptive study of suicides in 74 Chinese schizophrenic out-patients (43 male) is presented. The mean age at death was 31.3 years. The mean duration of illness was 8.5 years and 50 of the 74 died within ten years of onset of illness. Only five lived alone; 35 were openly employed and 20 were married at the time of death. Twenty had a history of depression, and 27 had attempted suicide previously. More females had been depressed or had attempted suicide than males. Over half were last admitted for reasons other than schizophrenic symptoms alone and ten died within one month of discharge. Eight of 71 patients followed up expressed suicidal ideas at the last psychiatric contact, but only 15 were symptomatic. Jumping was the commonest method used. Analytical studies are needed to identify risk factors in Chinese schizophrenics.