a1 MRC Unit for Epidemiological Studies in Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry, Edinburgh.
A new data set concerning suicide in relation to marital status for Scotland, 1973–83, is presented. The effects of age-standardization on marital status rates and of marital status standardization on age-specific rates are both elucidated. The difficulties of drawing conclusions from marital status rates for suicide are outlined. Nevertheless, the data suggest that the importance of the widowed state has been underestimated and that it appears that the relative risk for suicide associated with divorce has probably been decreasing among Scottish men over the study period.
c1 Address for correspondence: Professor N. Kreitman, MRC Unit for Epidemiological Studies in Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Park, Edinburgh EHIO 5HF.