Suicide is underreported for a number of reasons and the reliability of the official rates is subject to error from variation in defining and reporting cases--the kind of inaccuracies encountered when ascertaining cases in studies of mortality from any cause. Nevertheless, the evidence from studies designed to see whether these sources of error invalidate the differences reported between cultural and social groups indicate that they are randomised, at least to an extent that allows epidemiologists to compare rates between countries and districts within them, between demographic groups, and over time.
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