Objectives An excessive risk of suicide among agriculture workers has been observed in several studies in France and abroad. Accordingly, French Institute for Public Health Surveillance and Social Insurance in agriculture sector launched collaboration with aim at producing indicators of suicide mortality among agriculture workers population on a regular basis.
Method The study population included all active farmers and their collaborating spouses. The study covered tree consecutive years: 2007 to 2009. Mortality data by cause from death registrations were used to calculate standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) for both men and women.
Results The annual study population was around 500 000 subjects in average, including 68% of men. During the 3-year study period, 2769 men and 997 women were deceased. From these deaths, 417 deaths were due to suicide among men and 68 deaths among women. Suicides represented the third most important cause of death. The comparison of mortality among male study population with that of French national male population revealed a 28%-excess in mortality by suicide in 2008 and 22%-excess in 2009. This excess was particularly high among the 45–64 year age category and in cattle breeding-dairy and meat -sectors. These sectors presented the highest over mortality due to suicide in 2008 and 2009.
Conclusions The first results of this study confirm the necessity to continue the surveillance in this population. Especially, further analysis could provide more information to document risk factors of this excess.
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