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Int J Biometeorol. 2018 May;62(5):685-697. doi: 10.1007/s00484-016-1265-1. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

Where are weather-suicide associations valid? An examination of nine US counties with varying seasonality.

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Department of Geosciences, Fort Hays State University, 600 Park St, Hays, KS, USA.
Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, USA.


There has been much research on the associations between weather variables and suicide rates. However, the state of understanding has remained rather stagnant due to many contradictory findings. The purpose of this project is to examine a larger database of suicides that includes a longer and more recent period of record (1975-2010) across numerous locations in the USA. In all, we examine nine total counties (and the primary city associated with them) with a special effort made to compare locations with varying degrees of temperature seasonality: Cook (Chicago), Fulton (Atlanta), King (Seattle), Los Angeles (Los Angeles), Maricopa (Phoenix), Miami-Dade (Miami), Philadelphia (Philadelphia), Salt Lake (Salt Lake City), and St. Louis (St. Louis). We first examine the unique seasonal cycle in suicides evident in each locale and then use distributed lag nonlinear modeling (DLNM) to relate the suicide data to daily surface temperatures. Results suggest that a late spring/summer peak generally exists in suicide rates, and above average temperatures are associated with increased suicide risk in almost all study counties. Further, it appears that these associations can be found in both mid-latitude and sub-tropical climate types.


Biometeorology; Climate; Dlnm; Suicide

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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