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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Aug;191:106-12.

Relationship between daily suicide counts and temperature in England and Wales.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London SE5 8RJ, UK. l.page@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Seasonal fluctuation in suicide has been observed in many populations. High temperature may contribute to this, but the effect of short-term fluctuations in temperature on suicide rates has not been studied.

AIMS:

To assess the relationship between daily temperature and daily suicide counts in England and Wales between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 2003 and to establish whether heatwaves are associated with increased mortality from suicide.

METHOD:

Time-series regression analysis was used to explore and quantify the relationship between daily suicide counts and daily temperature. The impact of two heatwaves on suicide was estimated.

RESULTS:

No spring or summer peak in suicide was found. Above 18 degrees C, each 1 degrees C increase in mean temperature was associated with a 3.8 and 5.0% rise in suicide and violent suicide respectively. Suicide increased by 46.9% during the 1995 heatwave, whereas no change was seen during the 2003 heat wave.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is increased risk of suicide during hot weather.

PMID:
17666493
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.106.031948
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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