Minority sexual orientation has been repeatedly linked to elevated rates of suicide attempts. Whether this translates into greater risk for suicide mortality is unclear. We investigated sexual orientation-related differences in suicide mortality in Denmark during the initial 12-year period following legalization of same-sex registered domestic partnerships (RDPs).
Using data from death certificates issued between 1990 and 2001 and population estimates from the Danish census, we estimated suicide mortality risk among individuals classified into one of three marital/cohabitation statuses: current/formerly in same-sex RDPs; current/formerly heterosexually married; or never married/registered.
Risk for suicide mortality was associated with this proxy indicator of sexual orientation, but only significantly among men. The estimated age-adjusted suicide mortality risk for RDP men was nearly eight times greater than for men with positive histories of heterosexual marriage and nearly twice as high for men who had never married.
Suicide risk appears greatly elevated for men in same-sex partnerships in Denmark. To what extent this is true for similar gay and bisexual men who are not in such relationships is unknown, but these findings call for targeted suicide prevention programs aimed at reducing suicide risk among gay and bisexual men.
Cites: Am J Public Health. 2000 Apr;90(4):573-810754972