Suicides and ambient temperature in Switzerland: A nationwide time-series analysis.

Bär, Séverine; Bundo, Marvin; de Schrijver, Evan; Müller, Thomas J; Vicedo-Cabrera, Ana Maria (2022). Suicides and ambient temperature in Switzerland: A nationwide time-series analysis. Swiss medical weekly, 152, w30115. EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag 10.4414/smw.2022.w30115

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AIM OF THE STUDY

Previous literature suggests that ambient temperature may play a role in increasing the risk of suicide. Although in Switzerland suicides are an important cause of death, limited research exists on risk factors for suicidal behaviour, including ambient temperature. We aimed to assess the short-term association between ambient temperature and suicide risk in Switzerland between 1995 and 2016, and the differences by region, individual characteristics and method of suicide.

METHODS

We collected daily data on suicides and mean temperatures in each canton of Switzerland. We used a two-stage approach, consisting of a case time series analysis using conditional quasi-Poisson and distributed lag non-linear models followed by a multivariate meta-regression analysis. We conducted subgroup analyses by sex, age (<35, 35-65 and >65 years) and method of suicide (violent or nonviolent).

RESULTS

Between 1995 and 2016, there were a total of 24,067 suicides in Switzerland. Overall, we found a positive and non-linear temperature-suicide association in all regions. On average, the risk of suicide increased by 34% (1.34 relative risk [95% confidence interval: 1.19-1.52]) from the 10th to the 99th temperature percentile in Switzerland (lag period of 0-2 days). Indications of larger risks were mostly found in females, younger individuals (<35 years) and with nonviolent methods. Regional risks ranged from 24% (East region) to 55% (North-West region).

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings suggest that increasing temperatures could be considered a risk factor for suicidal behaviour in Switzerland. Knowledge of the profile of people committing suicide could help us to understand the mechanisms behind this association and thus support policymakers in suicide prevention.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Bär, Séverine; Bundo, Marvin; de Schrijver, Evan; Müller, Thomas and Vicedo Cabrera, Ana Maria

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1424-7860

Publisher:

EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

Language:

English

Submitter:

Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

11 Mar 2022 10:33

Last Modified:

06 Apr 2022 13:16

Publisher DOI:

10.4414/smw.2022.w30115

Related URLs:

PubMed ID:

35262317

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/167235

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/167235

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