Determinants of lethality from suicidal pesticide poisoning in Metropolitan HsinChu

Jau-Jiuan Sheu, Jung Der Wang, Yu Kuel Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Acute pesticide poisoning is a global health problem, especially in developing countries. Although Taiwan has quickly industrialized during the last several decades, pesticide use is still prevalent in the agricultural sector. We reviewed 187 consecutive hospitalized cases of the Provincial HsinChu Hospital from January 1989 through December 1995 to explore the determinants of acute pesticide poisoning in Metropolitan HsinChu. The annual incidence rate of acute pesticide poisoning was 3.2/100,000 with an overall fatality rate of 23% which was more severe than the rates found in developed countries. The major agents involved were organophosphates, and the major cause of poisoning was suicide. Alcohol abuse, history of major medical illnesses, and history of suicide were significantly associated with suicidal poisoning; quarrel was the immediate risk factor. Causes of poisoning (suicide vs non-suicide) and selection of the pesticides were major determinants of lethality. More stringent legislation and enforcement regarding the sale and distribution of extremely toxic pesticides are needed to reduce fatalities due to acute pesticide poisoning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary and Human Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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