Suicide among childhood cancer survivors in Slovenia

Mojca Čižek Sajko, Niko Čižek, Berta Jereb

Abstract


Objective. Suicide is one of the causes of late mortality among childhoodcancer survivors. The aim of our study was to analyse the riskof suicide among childhood cancer survivors compared with that ofthe general population of Slovenia. Patients and methods. This retrospectivestudy included patients with childhood cancer registeredat the Cancer Registry of Slovenia between 1978-2008, with an observationperiod of 1978-2010. Childhood cancer patients and controlsubjects from the general population of Slovenia were matched by sex,year and age at the beginning of follow-up and time of follow-up inyears. Data on the general population of Slovenia were obtained fromthe Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. Results. A total of1647 patients were recorded in the Cancer Registry as having cancerduring childhood, with 3 patients committing suicide. All three weremale. Their age at diagnosis of cancer was 12, 13 and 2 years old; theirage at suicide was 19, 32 and 28 years old. The mechanism of deathwas asphyxiation in all three deaths. The calculation of the expectednumber of suicides in the group of individuals with childhood cancerfrom the general Slovene population revealed the number of 3.16persons. Conclusion. The comparison of the observed and expectedprobability showed that there was no statistically significant differencein the suicide rate between childhood cancer survivors and the generalpopulation of Slovenia.

Keywords


Childhood cancer; Late mortality; Slovene population; Suicide risk

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