International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 785–795 | Cite as

Worldwide trends in suicide mortality from 1990 to 2015 with a focus on the global recession time frame

  • Gianfranco Alicandro
  • Matteo Malvezzi
  • Silvano Gallus
  • Carlo La Vecchia
  • Eva Negri
  • Paola BertuccioEmail author
Original article



To report worldwide trends in suicide mortality during a period that covers 7 years after the 2008 global crisis.


We performed a time trend analysis with joinpoint regression.


Over the 2000s, suicide mortality decreased with the largest declines observed in some Eastern European countries. The downward trends were followed by an increase in concomitance with the 2008 global crisis in some countries, including Greece (annual percentage change = + 6 in men and + 11.8 in women), the Netherlands (+ 4.2 in men and + 4.0 in women), and the UK (+ 1.6 in men), while the pre-crisis downward trends stopped in Germany, Italy, and Spain. The joinpoint analysis also revealed long-term rises in Brazil (+ 0.8 since 1990 in men and + 1.8 since 1999 in women), Mexico (+ 1.3 since 1995 in men and + 3.6 since 1990 in women), the USA (+ 1.7 since 2005 in men and + 4.2 since 2010 in women), and Australia (+ 1.8 in men and + 3.7 in women, since 2006 in both sexes).


Despite downward trends in several areas of the world, in some countries suicide rates increased since the 2008 global crisis.


Suicide Mortality Trends Financial crisis 



This study was supported by the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC, Project No. 18440), MIUR (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca), and by SIR (Scientific Independence of Young Researchers, 2014 Grant, Project RBSI1465UH).

Authors’ Contribution

CLV conceived and PB designed the study. PB and GA performed the data analysis and drafted the manuscript. All authors participated equally in the interpretation of the results. PB has full responsibility for the overall content of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Data availability

All data used in this manuscript are publicly available in the WHO mortality database. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2014 ( and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Health Information Platform for the Americas (

Supplementary material

38_2019_1219_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1368 kb)


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianfranco Alicandro
    • 1
  • Matteo Malvezzi
    • 1
  • Silvano Gallus
    • 2
  • Carlo La Vecchia
    • 1
  • Eva Negri
    • 3
  • Paola Bertuccio
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Sciences and Community HealthUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health SciencesIstituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCSMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical and Clinical SciencesUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

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