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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1997 Dec;21(9):1704-6.

Employment status influences the weekly patterns of suicide among alcohol misusers.

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Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, and National Public Health Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland.


As part of the National Suicide Prevention Project in Finland, a nationwide psychological autopsy study, all suicide victims (n = 1397) over a 12-month period were investigated concerning factors associated with any variation in suicide frequency between weekdays and weekends. In particular, employment status was expected to have influenced the weekly pattern of alcohol misuse, and thereby to have caused clustering of suicides at weekends among the employed. Among suicide victims who had misused alcohol, those in employment were significantly more likely to have committed suicide during the weekend that those without work (52% vs. 34%, p < 0.001). In logistic regression analysis, employment was the only independent variable significantly associated with suicide at the weekend. According to forensic chemical analysis, those classified as misusers had frequently used alcohol at the time of suicide, regardless of the weekday, and slightly more often if employed. The clustering of suicides at weekends among employed alcohol misusers is probably explained by a weekly pattern in the use of alcohol, which suggests that besides the established risk factors for suicide among alcohol misusers, the act of using alcohol per se also contributes to the suicidal act.

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