Season of birth is significantly associated with the risk of completed suicide

Péter Döme, Balázs Kapitány, Györgyi Ignits, Zoltán Rihmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have provided somewhat inconsistent results about the effects of season of birth on the risk of suicidal behavior. Therefore, we decided to investigate this question in a large sample of suicide completers. Methods: We determined the season of birth-associated risk of completed suicide between the years 1970 and 2008 among all individuals who were born in the area of todays Hungary between 1930 and 1939, 1941 and 1942, and 1944 and 1969. Results: The final sample of participants included around six and a half million people. About 80,000 completed suicides occurred among participants during the period investigated (the number of suicide completers in our study greatly exceeds the number of suicide completers in any previous studies). A significantly (p <.05) elevated risk of completed suicide was found among those individuals who were born in the high-risk period (spring and summer). Quantitatively, the biggest increase (7.6% [95% confidence interval: 5.4 9.9]) in suicide risk was detected among those who were born in July compared with the average risk of suicide in the population investigated. The associations between season of birth and the risk of completed suicide were stronger among male subjects than among female subjects and among those who committed suicide using violent methods than among those who chose nonviolent methods. Conclusions: Our results from a large sample of suicide completers from Hungarya country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world over the last centurystrongly support the concept that the season of birth is significantly associated with the risk of completed suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2010

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • mood disorders
  • risk factor
  • season of birth
  • seasonality
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Season of birth is significantly associated with the risk of completed suicide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this