The number of suspected suicides fell by 7 per cent in Scotland last year, according to official statistics.
There were 830 probable suicides recorded in 2012, 59 fewer than the 889 registered the previous year.
The 45 to 49-year-old age group had the largest number of suspected suicides and about three-quarters of all suicides were men, figures showed.
The 2011 and 2012 statistics, published by the General Register Office for Scotland, were calculated using a new measuring system and should not be compared directly with figures for the years up to and including 2010.
Nevertheless, statisticians said the latest few years’ figures “give the impression of a slight downward trend”.
Men have accounted for about three-quarters of all probable suicides over more than two decades.
Figures showed they represented between 72 per cent and 77 per cent of all suicides in every year since 1990.
In Scotland last year, 608 suspected suicides were men and 222 were women.
The likelihood of suicide also varies with age.
In 2012, using the new measuring system, the 45-49 age group had 110 probable suicides, or 13%.
This was followed by 40 to 44-year-olds, with 105, and people aged 50-54, with 98, or 12 per cent, of suicides.
The pattern has changed over the years. In the second half of the 1990s the largest numbers were in the age groups covering people from 25 to 39.