People who grew up in the worst years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland are more prone to suicide, according to research carried out by Queen's University Belfast.

The research, which examined death registration data over the last 40 years, found that the suicide rate in Northern Ireland was highest for men aged between 35 and 44.

The highest suicide rates are among those who grew up in the worst years of violence between 1969 and 1978.

The study found that the overall rate of suicide for both men and women in Northern Ireland doubled in the decade following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Suicide rates rose from 8.6 per 100,000 of the population in 1998 to 16 per 100,000 by 2010.

Professor Mike Tomlinson, who carried out the research, said the increase in suicide rates coincides with the move from conflict to peace.

He said the rise can be attributed to a complex range of social and psychological factors.

These include the growth in social isolation, poor mental health arising from the experience of conflict and the greater political stability of the past decade.

Prof Tomlinson said the transition to peace had resulted in violence and aggression becoming more internalised - because cultures of externalised aggression are no longer socially or politically acceptable.