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Seasonal variation in suicide: is there a sex difference?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2009

Rocco Micciolo
Affiliation:
Cattedra e Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Instituto di Psichiatria, Universita di Verona, Verona, Italy, Istituto di Statistica e Ricerca Operativa, Universita di Trento, Trento, ItalyInstitute of Psychiatry, London
Christa Zimmermann-Tansella
Affiliation:
Cattedra e Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Instituto di Psichiatria, Universita di Verona, Verona, Italy, Istituto di Statistica e Ricerca Operativa, Universita di Trento, Trento, ItalyInstitute of Psychiatry, London
Paul Williams
Affiliation:
Cattedra e Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Instituto di Psichiatria, Universita di Verona, Verona, Italy, Istituto di Statistica e Ricerca Operativa, Universita di Trento, Trento, ItalyInstitute of Psychiatry, London
Michele Tansella
Affiliation:
Cattedra e Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Instituto di Psichiatria, Universita di Verona, Verona, Italy, Istituto di Statistica e Ricerca Operativa, Universita di Trento, Trento, ItalyInstitute of Psychiatry, London

Synopsis

Seasonal variation in suicide in Italy for the years 1969–81 has been assessed in males and females by means of harmonic analysis. Cyclical fluctuations in the number of suicides, reasonably consistent over the 13 years of the study, have been observed in both sexes. Seasonal harmonics accounted for 65·3 and 48·4% of the variance in male and female suicides respectively. While in males the only important seasonal harmonic was the first (one cycle per year), in females there was an important first harmonic and a second harmonic (two cycles per year). In both sexes the peak of the first harmonic occurred in May, while in females the subsidiary peak occurred in October–November.

Type
Brief Communication
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1989

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