Hanging as a method of suicide: a retrospective study


Objectives: Hanging is a common cause of death worldwide as well as a method of suicide with a high fatality rate, In this retrospective study, data were obtained from cases of hanging reported to Department of Forensic Medicine at the province of Basrah, Iraq, in order to analyze the characteristics of hanging, to focus on its distribution by gender, age groups, marital status, the place of occurrence of the incident, ligature types used, autopsy findings and manner of death, and to determine the possible causes of hanging fatalities over the period of the study, in addition to various other associated factors with the aim to find out which individuals are more prone to death by hanging and to explore the potential control and preventive measures.Methodology: Over a period of seven years, from January 2010 to December 2016. data from autopsy reports, together with information from police investigation reports and history obtained from relatives were used in this study.Results: A total of 184 forensic autopsies were conducted on cases of death due to hanging during the period of the study. The highest proportion of hanging cases was suicidal in nature (86%). Twenty eight percent of the suicidal hanging victims were in their 3rd decade of life, and the incidence rate of hanging among female and male victims was almost equal, female to male ratio was 1.1:1. Conclusion: Hanging is a common cause of suicide in our society, especially among young individuals. Prevention of death by hanging is not easy since different types of materials can be used as a ligature.


Hanging, suicide, Basrah