NEWS

Increase in suicide bids by poison

The number of Greeks trying to kill themselves by poisoning has risen over the past seven years, according to hospital data made public yesterday, which also showed that women far outstrip men in suicide attempts. Figures released by the poisoning department, which is housed at the Athens Aglaia Kyriakou children’s hospital, showed that 44,809 calls for help were received last year, of which 39,777 concerned poisoning cases. Attica accounted for 54.1 percent of all calls. Some 6,600 calls regarded suicide attempts, up from 4,972 in 1995, while 76 percent of these attempts were made by women. Of all 44,809 calls received, 36 percent regarded children aged up to 4, while 34 percent concerned people aged 20-49. The overwhelming majority of poisoning cases occurred at home (98.8 percent). Medicine was to blame in 46.47 percent of all cases, followed by household products such as detergents (1,767 cases), bleaching agents (1,739 cases of swallowing and 342 of inhalation). And 1,109 babies suffered poisoning after chewing cigarettes.