The effects of significant international sports events on hungarian suicide rates

Karoly Bozsonyi, P. Osváth, S. Fekete, Lajos Bálint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Several studies found a significant relationship between important sport events and suicidal behavior. Aims: We set out to investigate whether there is a significant relationship between the raw suicide rate and the most important international sports events (Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship) in such an achievement-oriented society as the Hungarian one, where these sport events receive great attention. Method: We examined suicide cases occurring over 15,706 days between January 1, 1970, and December 31, 2012 (43 years), separately for each gender. Because of the age-specific characteristics of suicide, the effects of these sport events were analyzed for the middle-aged (30-59 years old) and the elderly (over 60 years old) generations as well as for gender-specific population groups. The role of international sport events was examined with the help of time-series intervention analysis after cyclical and seasonal components were removed. Intervention analysis was based on the ARIMA model. Results: Our results showed that only the Olympic Games had a significant effect in the middle-aged population. Neither in the older male nor in any of the female age groups was a relationship between suicide and Olympic Games detected. Conclusion: The Olympic Games seem to decrease the rate of suicide among middle-aged men, slightly but significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Hungarian suicide statistics
  • Sport events
  • Suicide time series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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