Relationship of suicide rates to economic variables in Europe: 2000-2011

Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Wolfram Kawohl, Pavlos N. Theodorakis, Ad J.F.M. Kerkhof, Alvydas Navickas, Cyril Höschl, Dusica Lecic-Tosevski, Eliot Sorel, Elmars Rancans, Eva Palova, Georg Juckel, Goran Isacsson, Helena Korosec Jagodic, Ileana Botezat-Antonescu, Ingeborg Warnke, Janusz Rybakowski, Jean Michel Azorin, John Cookson, John Waddington, Peter PregeljKoen Demyttenaere, Luchezar G. Hranov, Lidija Injac Stevovic, Lucas Pezawas, Marc Adida, Maria Luisa Figuera, Maurizio Pompili, Miro Jakovljević, Monica Vichi, Giulio Perugi, Ole Andrasen, Olivera Vukovic, Paraskevi Mavrogiorgou, Peeter Varnik, Per Bech, Peter Dome, Petr Winkler, Raimo K.R. Salokangas, Tiina From, Vita Danileviciute, Xenia Gonda, Zoltan Rihmer, Jonas Forsman Benhalima, Anne Grady, Anne Katrine Kloster Leadholm, Susan Soendergaard, Carlos Nordt, Juan Lopez-Ibor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: It is unclear whether there is a direct link between economic crises and changes in suicide rates. Aims: The Lopez-Ibor Foundation launched an initiative to study the possible impact of the economic crisis on European suicide rates. Method: Data was gathered and analysed from 29 European countries and included the number of deaths by suicide in men and women, the unemployment rate, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the annual economic growth rate and inflation. Results: There was a strong correlation between suicide rates and all economic indices except GPD per capita in men but only a correlation with unemployment in women. However, the increase in suicide rates occurred several months before the economic crisis emerged. Conclusions: Overall, this study confirms a general relationship between the economic environment and suicide rates; however, it does not support there being a clear causal relationship between the current economic crisis and an increase in the suicide rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-496
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume205
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Fountoulakis, K. N., Kawohl, W., Theodorakis, P. N., Kerkhof, A. J. F. M., Navickas, A., Höschl, C., Lecic-Tosevski, D., Sorel, E., Rancans, E., Palova, E., Juckel, G., Isacsson, G., Korosec Jagodic, H., Botezat-Antonescu, I., Warnke, I., Rybakowski, J., Azorin, J. M., Cookson, J., Waddington, J., ... Lopez-Ibor, J. (2014). Relationship of suicide rates to economic variables in Europe: 2000-2011. British Journal of Psychiatry, 205(6), 486-496. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.114.147454