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Crisis. 2012 Jan 1;33(3):169-77. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000126.

Suicide deaths and nonfatal hospital admissions for deliberate self-harm in the United States. Temporality by day of week and month of year.

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  • 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 11720 Beltsville Drive, Calverton, MD 20705, USA.



No one knows whether the temporality of nonfatal deliberate self-harm in the United States mirrors the temporality of suicide deaths.


To analyze day- and month-specific variation in population rates for suicide fatalities and, separately, for hospital admissions for nonfatal deliberate self-harm.


For 12 states, we extracted vital statistics data on all suicides (n = 11,429) and hospital discharge data on all nonfatal deliberate self-harm admissions (n = 60,870) occurring in 1997. We used multinomial logistic regression to analyze the significance of day-to-day and month-to-month variations in the occurrence of suicides and nonfatal deliberate self-harm admissions.


Both fatal and nonfatal events had a 6%-10% excess occurrence on Monday and Tuesday and were 5%-13% less likely to occur on Saturdays (p < .05). Males were more likely than females to act on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Nonfatal admission rates were 6% above the average in April and May (p < .05). In contrast, suicide rates were 6% above the average in February and March and 8% below it in November (p < .05).


Suicides and nonfatal hospital admissions for deliberate self-harm have peaks and troughs on the same days in the United States. In contrast, the monthly patterns for these fatal and nonfatal events are not congruent.

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