TITLE

Seasonal patterns of suicides over the period of socio-economic transition in Lithuania

AUTHOR(S)
Kalediene, Ramune; Starkuviene, Skirmante; Petrauskiene, Jadvyga
PUB. DATE
January 2006
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2006, Vol. 6, p40
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: In Lithuania, suicides are a grave public health problem, requiring more extensive investigation. The aim of the study was to assess the seasonal variations of suicides in Lithuania throughout the years 1993-2002, describing patterns by gender, age and method of suicide. Methods: The study material consisted of all registered suicides (n = 16,147) committed throughout 1993-2002 in Lithuania. Smoothed trends were inspected. The seasonal effect was explored using monthly ratio statistics and spectral analysis. Results: Suicides in Lithuania have a distinct annual rhythm with peaks in summer and troughs in December. The December frequencies fell by more than 23% in men and 30% in women, while June peak reached nearly 23% in men and July peak exceeded 29% in women, compare with the average levels, (p < 0.05). Hanging was the most common method of suicide both in men and women comprising up to 90% among all suicides in 1998-2002. Among different methods, only hanging suicides showed significant seasonal variations, especially in men. The seasonal amplitude has decreased over time. Conclusion: Substantial seasonal variations in suicides were associated with a high proportion of hanging. Extremely high suicide rates in Lithuania require further extensive studies and urgent preventive programs, taking into account the suggestions of this survey.
ACCESSION #
29362189

 

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