Do weather, day of the week, and address affect the rate of attempted suicide in Hong Kong?

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Summary

In the whole year of 1986, psychiatrists saw a total of 307 attempted suicide cases presenting to a regional general hospital in Hong Kong, whether admitted or not. They were committed by 295 different people. There was no significant correlation between the number of attempts and the temperature, relative humidity, rainfall or relative duration of sunshine. Comparison with the general population revealed no evidence that suicide attempters were more likely to live in high density public housing blocks or on higher floor levels. Detailed analysis of the address of each attempter also did not support the social contagion theory of attempted suicide. Yet the suicide attempters were more likely to live in temporary structures, many inhabitants of which were new immigrants. Moreover, suicide attempts by housewives were found to reach a peak on Sundays. The implications of these findings are discussed.