Original Article

Studying the Relationship Between Age, Gender and Other Demographic Factors with the Type of Agent Used for Self-Poisoning at a Poisoning Referral Center in North West Iran


  • Alireza Ala
  • Samad Shams Vahdati
  • Leila Moosavi
  • Hosna Sadeghi

Received Date: 06.08.2010 Accepted Date: 01.02.2011 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2011;10(3):100-102


Poisoning is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is one of the preferred means of committing suicide in Iran. The objective was to examine the demographic differences relating to the choice of suicidal methods among patients referred to two referral centers providing emergency services in North West Iran.

Materials and Methods:

This was a prospective study and included all patients with a confirmed or suspected poisoning diagnosis referred to Imam Reza hospital and Sina hospital of Tabriz city (two referral hospitals of North West Iran) from September 2009 until March 2010.The study factors were: age, gender, employment status, marital status and level of education.


Of the studied cases, 66% were male and 34% female. The three most common causes of poisoning were opioids, benzodiazepines (BZD) and blockers. A significant statistical relationship (p<0.05) was noted between the type of poison and patient age, gender, occupation, level of education and marital status. In conclusion, it seemed that males were more prone to commit suicide with alcohol and opioids than females. The MDs (Medicinae Doctors) used BZD more than others and the employed patients used more opioids and alcohol compared to the unemployed.


It is recommended that further studies should be carried out in order to generalize the results in different and larger communities and develop a specific ED (Emergency Department) service provision for a better and quicker approach to patients intending to commit suicide when the type of poisoning drug used is unknown.

Keywords: Drug, suicide, demographic factors