Time-related changes in suicide attempts after the nuclear accident in Fukushima
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- Aoki, Y., Okada, M., Inokuchi, R. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2014) 49: 1911. doi:10.1007/s00127-014-0903-3
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The aim of this study is to assess whether the risk or types of suicide change in Fukushima in the aftermath of a series of disaster, including earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011.
The clinical records of all patients visited to the medical centre near the nuclear plant from 1 year before to 1 year after the disaster were reviewed (n = 981). Patients with non-fatal suicide attempt were divided into two categories depending on their method of suicide attempt. Standardised mortality ratios were calculated to adjust for changes in demographic profiles.
The risk of non-fatal suicide attempts using high-mortality methods was significantly higher for 4 months, by three to four times after the series of disasters, and then decreased. There was no significant increase of non-fatal suicide attempts using low-mortality methods after the disaster.
After such a disaster, immediate psychiatric support may be required because of the increased risk of non-fatal suicide attempts in the immediate aftermath.