Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Public Health. 2016 Aug;137:35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.02.010. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Seasonality of suicide behavior in Northwest Alaska: 1990-2009.

Author information

1
Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.
2
Division of Community Health Education, Department of Public Health, School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA. Electronic address: lwexler@schoolph.umass.edu.
3
Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil, Switzerland; Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland.
4
Women's Psychological Services, USA.
5
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, and disproportionately affects Indigenous populations. Seasonal suicide patterns are variable in the literature, and could offer novel approaches to the timing and focus of prevention efforts if better understood. With a suicide surveillance system in place since 1989, this study offers an unprecedented opportunity to explore seasonal variations in both fatal and non-fatal suicide behavior in an Indigenous Arctic region.

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

METHODS:

In this descriptive study, we analyzed data collected from 1990 to 2009 in the rural northwest region of Alaska, both graphically and using the chi-squared test for multinomials.

RESULTS:

We found a significant monthly variation for suicide attempts, with a peak in suicide behavior observed between April and August (P = 0.0002). Monthly variation was more pronounced among individuals ≤29 years of age, and was present in both males and females, although the seasonal pattern differed by sex.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings of a significant seasonal pattern in suicide behavior, with monthly variation (summer peak) in non-fatal suicide behavior among younger age groups, and among both males and females can assist planners in targeting subpopulations for prevention at different times of the year.

KEYWORDS:

American Indian/Alaska native; Seasonal pattern; Suicidal behavior; Suicide

PMID:
27021788
DOI:
10.1016/j.puhe.2016.02.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center