Trends and Characteristics of Occupational Suicide and Homicide in Farmers and Agriculture Workers, 1992–2010

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Abstract

Objective:

We examined work-related homicides and suicides among farm operators/workers in the United States from 1992 to 2010.

Methods:

Work-related homicide and suicide cases from 1992 to 2010 were obtained from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. To calculate rates, denominator data on the US working population were also obtained from 2003 to 2010 Current Population Survey. Logistic regression was used to identify factors that were differentially associated with homicide and suicide.

Results:

Over these 19 years, 171 farm operators/workers died from homicide and 230 died from suicide. When compared to rates of all workers, suicide rates were higher while homicide rates were lower among farm operators/workers. Males (OR = 6.1), whites (OR = 4.7), and 35- to 54-year-old (OR = 2.3) farm operators/workers had increased odds of suicide over homicide compared with their respective counterparts (ie, females, nonwhites, <35-year-olds). Those working in smaller farm operations with <11 employees had 1.7 times the odds of suicide over homicide.

Conclusions:

Suicide and homicide are both present in the agricultural industry, with suicide being more common than homicide. Translation of suicide prevention programs should be explored for the agricultural industry.

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