Advertisement

Variation in Suicide Occurrence by Day and during Major American Holidays

      Abstract

      Background

      Due to temporal variations in completed suicides, it has been suggested that impulsivity and environmental factors may influence suicide.

      Study Objective

      Our intent was to determine if particular days of the week, seasons, or holidays were associated with increased attempted and completed suicides by poisoning.

      Methods

      All calls recorded in the National Poison Database System coded as “suspected suicide” from 2006 through 2010 were included. Exposures were evaluated by day, season, and holidays, and compared to control dates.

      Results

      There were 1,065,067 exposures (63% female) related to suicide attempts, with completions in 0.4% of cases. Sundays and Mondays for adults, and Mondays and Tuesdays for age < 19 years were the most common. Spring and fall had higher numbers of exposures than summer and winter. New Year's Day had a higher number of exposures, whereas Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas had fewer exposures.

      Conclusions

      The beginning of the week, spring and fall, and New Year's Day were associated with higher numbers of ingestions with suicidal intent. This has implications for clinicians advising potential victims and providing emergency care for these patients.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Emergency Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths: final data for 2009. Available at: cdcinfo.cdc.gov. Accessed December 24, 2013.

        • Mann J.J.
        • Apter A.
        • Bertolote J.
        • et al.
        Suicide prevention strategies: a systematic review.
        JAMA. 2005; 294: 2064-2074
        • Hawton K.
        • van Heeringen K.
        Suicide.
        Lancet. 2009; 373: 1372-1381
        • Andersen U.A.
        • Andersen M.
        • Rosholm J.U.
        • Gram L.F.
        Contacts to the healthcare system prior to suicide: a comprehensive analysis using registers for general and psychiatric hospital admissions, contacts to general practitioners and practicing specialists and drug prescriptions.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2000; 102: 126-134
        • Luoma J.B.
        • Martin C.E.
        • Pearson J.L.
        Contact with mental health and primary care providers prior to suicide: a review of the evidence.
        Am J Psychiatry. 2002; 159: 909-916
        • Da Cruz D.
        • Pearson A.
        • Saini P.
        • et al.
        Emergency department contact prior to suicide in mental health patients.
        Emerg Med J. 2011; 28: 467-471
        • Gunell D.
        The epidemiology of suicide.
        Int Rev Psychiatry. 2000; 12: 21-26
        • Chew K.S.
        • McCleary R.
        The sprin peak in suicides: a cross-national analysis.
        Soc Sci Med. 1995; 40: 223-230
        • Leikin J.B.
        • Morris R.W.
        • Lipscomb J.W.
        Periodicity of suicide attempts reported to a poison control center.
        Vet Hum Toxicol. 1994; 36: 415-417
        • Kposowa A.J.
        • D'Auria S.
        Association of temporal factors and suicides in the United States, 2000–2004.
        Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2010; 45: 433-445
        • Postolache T.T.
        • Mortensen P.B.
        • Tonelli L.H.
        • et al.
        Seasonal spring peaks of suicide in victims with and without prior history of hospitalization for mood disorders.
        J Affect Disord. 2010; 121: 88-93
        • Maldonado G.
        • Kraus J.F.
        Variation in suicide occurrence by time of day, day of the week, month, and lunar phase.
        Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1991; 21: 174-187
        • Martin S.J.
        • Kelly I.W.
        • Saklofske D.H.
        Suicide and lunar cycles: a critical review over 28 years.
        Psychol Rep. 1992; 71: 787-795
        • Oderda G.M.
        • Klein-Schwartz W.
        Lunar cycle and poison center calls.
        J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1983; 20: 487-495
        • Vyrostek S.B.
        • Annest J.L.
        • Ryan G.W.
        Surveillance for fatal and non-fatal injuries—United States.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2004; 53: 1-57
        • Rasmussen S.A.
        • Fraser L.
        • Gotz M.
        • et al.
        Elaborating the cry of pain model of suicidality: testing a psychological model in a sample of first-time and repeat self-harm patients.
        Br J Clin Psychol. 2010; 49: 15-30
        • Bronstein A.C.
        • Spyker D.A.
        • Cantilena L.R.
        • et al.
        2010 Annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 28th annual report.
        Clin Toxicol. 2011; 49: 910-941
        • Phillips D.P.
        • Willis J.S.
        A drop in suicides around major national holidays.
        Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1987; 17: 1-12
        • Zonda T.
        • Bozsonyi K.
        • Veres E.
        • et al.
        The impact of holidays on suicide in Hungary.
        OMEGA. 2008; 58: 153-162
        • Bridges F.S.
        Rates of homicide and suicide on major national holidays.
        Psychol Rep. 2004; 94: 723-724
        • Christiansen E.
        • Jensen B.F.
        Risk of repetition of suicide attempt, suicide or all deaths after an episode of attempted suicide: a register-based survival analysis.
        Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2007; 41: 257-265
        • Tejedor M.C.
        • Diaz A.
        • Castillon J.J.
        • et al.
        Attempted suicide: repetition and survival-findings of a follow-up study.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999; 100: 205-211
        • Borowsky I.W.
        • Ireland M.
        • Resnick M.D.
        Adolescent suicide attempts: risks and protectors.
        Pediatrics. 2001; 107: 485-493
        • Compton M.T.
        • Thompson N.J.
        • Kaslow N.J.
        Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: the protective role of family relationships and social support.
        Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2005; 40: 175-185
        • Gabennesch H.
        When promises fail: a theory of temporal fluctuations in suicide.
        Soc Forces. 1988; 67: 129-145
        • Jessen G.
        • Jensen B.F.
        • Arensman E.
        • et al.
        Attempted suicide and major public holidays in Europe: findings from the WHO/WURO Multicentre study in parasuicide.
        Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999; 99: 412-418
        • Linakis J.G.
        • Frederick K.A.
        Poisoning deaths not reported to the regional poison control center.
        Ann Emerg Med. 1993; 22: 1822-1828