International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 685–697 | Cite as

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

Special Issue: Latin America/Caribbean

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Suicide Dlnm Biometeorology Climate 

References

  1. Ajdacic-Gross V et al (2005) Diversity and change in suicide seasonality over 125 years. J Epidemiol Community Health 59:967–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen MJ, Sheridan SC (2016) Mortality risks during extreme temperature events (ETEs) using a distributed lag non-linear model. Int J Biometeorol. doi: 10.1007/s00484-015-1117-4 Google Scholar
  3. Burkart K, Breitner S, Schneider A, Khan MM, Krämer A, Endlicher W (2014) An analysis of heat effects in different subpopulations of Bangladesh. Int J Biometeorol 58:227–237. doi: 10.1007/s00484-013-0668-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dixon PG, Kalkstein AJ (2009) Climate-suicide relationships: a research problem in need of geographic methods and cross-disciplinary perspectives. Geography Compass 3:1961–1974. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2009.00286.x
  5. Dixon PG, Kalkstein AJ (2014) Suicide seasonality in the United States. Paper presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Tampa, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  6. Dixon PG, Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Levitt A, Haney CR, Ellis KN, Sheridan SC (2014) Association of weekly suicide rates with temperature anomalies in two different climate types. Int J Environ Res Public Health 11:11627–11644Google Scholar
  7. Dixon PG, Allen M, Gosling SN, Hondula DM, Ingole V, Lucas R, Vanos J (2016) Perspectives on the synoptic climate classification and its role in interdisciplinary research. Geography Compass 10:147–164. doi: 10.1111/gec3.12264 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gasparrini A (2011) Distributed lag linear and non-linear models in R: the package dlnm. J Stat Softw 43:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gasparrini A, Armstrong B (2011) The impact of heat waves on mortality. Epidemiology 22:68–73 (Cambridge, Mass)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gasparrini A, Armstrong B, Kenward M (2010) Distributed lag non-linear models. Stat Med 29:2224–2234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guo Y, Barnett AG, Pan X, Yu W, Tong S (2011) The impact of temperature on mortality in Tianjin, China: a case−crossover design with a distributed lag non-linear model. Environ Health Perspect 119:1719–25Google Scholar
  12. Hiltunen L, Haukka J, Ruuhela R, Suominen K, Partonen T (2014) Local daily temperatures, thermal seasons, and suicide rates in Finland from 1974 to 2010. Environ Health Prev Med 19:286–294. doi: 10.1007/s12199-014-0391-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holopainen J, Helama S, Partonen T (2014) Does diurnal temperature range influence seasonal suicide mortality? Assessment of daily data of the Helsinki metropolitan area from 1973 to 2010. Int J Biometeorol. doi: 10.1007/s00484-013-0689-0 Google Scholar
  14. Kim Y, Kim H, Kim D-S (2011) Association between daily environmental temperature and suicide mortality in Korea (2001–2005). Psychiatry Res 186:390–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kim Y, Kim H, Honda Y, Guo YL, Chen B-Y, Woo J-M, Ebi KL (2016) Suicide and ambient temperature in East Asian countries: a time-stratified case-crossover analysis. Environ Health Perspect 124:75–80. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1409392 Google Scholar
  16. Likhvar V, Honda Y, Ono M (2011) Relation between temperature and suicide mortality in Japan in the presence of other confounding factors using time-series analysis with a semiparametric approach. Environ Health Prev Med 16:36–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mok PLH, Kapur N, Windfuhr K, Leyland AH, Appleby L, Platt S, Webb RT (2012) Trends in national suicide rates for Scotland and for England & Wales, 1960–2008. Br J Psychiatry 200:245–251. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.092908 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Petridou E, Papadopoulos FC, Frangakis CE, Skalkidou A (2002) A role of sunshine in the triggering of suicide. Epidemiology 13:106–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Reutfors J, Ösby U, Ekbom A, Nordström P, Jokinen J, Papadopoulos FC (2009) Seasonality of suicide in Sweden: relationship with psychiatric disorder. J Affect Disord 119:59–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rocchi MBL, Sisti D, Cascio MT, Preti A (2007) Seasonality and suicide in Italy: amplitude is positively related to suicide rates. J Affect Disord 100:129–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rock D, Greenberg DM, Hallmayer JF (2003) Increasing seasonality of suicide in Australia 1970-1999. Psychiatry Res 120:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rocklov J, Barnett AG, Woodward A (2012) On the estimation of heat-intensity and heat-duration effects in time series models of temperature-related mortality in Stockholm, Sweden. Environ Health. 11Google Scholar
  23. Ruuhela R, Hiltunen L, Venäläinen A, Pirinen P, Partonen T (2009) Climate impact on suicide rates in Finland from 1971 to 2003. Int J Biometeorol 53:167–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sun J, Guo X, Ma J, Zhang J, Jia C, Xu A (2011) Seasonality of suicide in Shandong China, 1991–2009: associations with gender, age, area and methods of suicide. J Affect Disord 135:258–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Szyszkowicz M, Willey JB, Grafstein E, Rowe BH, Colman I (2010) Air pollution and emergency department visits for suicide attempts in Vancouver, Canada. Environmental Health Insights 4:79–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Titelman D et al (2013) Suicide mortality trends in the Nordic countries 1980–2009. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 67:414–423. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2012.752036 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Törő K, Dunay G, Bartholy J, Pongrácz R, Kis Z, Keller É (2009) Relationship between suicidal cases and meteorological conditions. J Forensic Legal Med 16:277–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tsai J-F (2010) Socioeconomic factors outweigh climate in the regional difference of suicide death rate in Taiwan. Psychiatry Res 179:212–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vyssoki B, Praschak-Rieder N, Sonneck G, Blüml V, Willeit M, Kasper S, Kapusta ND (2012) Effects of sunshine on suicide rates. Compr Psychiatry 53:535–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wang X, Lavigne E, Ouellette-kuntz H, Chen BE (2014) Acute impacts of extreme temperature exposure on emergency room admissions related to mental and behavior disorders in Toronto, Canada. J Affect Disord 155:154–161. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.10.042 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Watts BV, Young-Xu Y, Mills PD, DeRosier JM, Kemp J, Shiner B, Duncan WE (2012) Examination of the effectiveness of the mental health environment of care checklist in reducing suicide on inpatient mental health units. Arch Gen Psychiatry 69:588–592. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.1514 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. WHO (2016) World Health Statistics 2016 vol 2016. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  33. Yang AC, Tsai S-J, Huang NE (2011) Decomposing the association of completed suicide with air pollution, weather, and unemployment data at different time scales. J Affect Disord 129:275–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesFort Hays State UniversityHaysUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Environmental EngineeringUnited States Military AcademyNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations