Objectives: To examine the extent to which generational status, region of origin, age at arrival, and duration of residence modify the relationship between employment status and suicide risk.
Methods: Population-based registers were used to conduct a longitudinal, open cohort study of native-origin and foreign-origin Swedish residents of working age (25-64 years) from 1993-2008. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for suicide mortality were estimated using gender-stratified Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: Elevated hazard ratios for suicide were observed among the majority of foreign-origin persons exposed to unemployment. Second generation Swedish men exposed to unemployment demonstrated significantly greater (p<0.05) excess risk of suicide than that observed among native-origin men exposed to unemployment. In unemployed foreign-born men, younger age at arrival and longer duration of residence were associated with increased risk of suicide, whereas those who arrived as adults and had a shorter duration of residence did not show excess risk.
Conclusions: Overall, analyses indicated that the majority of the foreign-origin exposed to unemployment demonstrated excess risk of suicide that was often of a similar magnitude to that observed among their native-origin counterparts. There were notable differences in patterns of association by generational status, region of origin, age at arrival, and duration of residence.