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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr;11(3):579-85. doi: 10.3109/15622970903397722.

Gender differences in antidepressant use-related seasonality change in suicide mortality in Hungary, 1998-2006.

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  • 1National Center for Healthcare Audit and Inspection, Budapest, Hungary.



Studies show that the seasonality of suicide (spring/early summer peak, winter low) is mainly the consequence of the seasonal incidence of depression-related suicides. The aim of the present study was to analyse the relationship between increasing antidepressant utilization and national suicide rate of Hungary between 1998 and 2006, with particular regard to seasonal patterns and gender differences.


Time trend analysis (ARIMA) had been applied to investigate the correlation between the trend of antidepressant prescription and both of suicide rates and seasonality index.


During the 9 years of the study period there was a significant (P<0.001) correlation between the steadily increasing antidepressant prescription (113%) and continuous decline in total national suicide rate (23%) as well as both in females and males (21 and 23%, respectively), but this relationship was 8-fold stronger in males. Increasing antidepressant utilization was associated with significantly decreased seasonality of suicides only among males.


The results suggest that decreasing seasonality of suicides could be a good marker of lowering rate of depression-related suicides in the population particularly among males.

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