Seasonality of Suicidal Behavior in Mysuru, Karnataka, India: A Populace Based Analysis.

Alwyn D'souza, Shakunthala Venkat


Objectives: In India there are very few epidemiological studies that describe the association between suicides and physical factors, which underlie seasonal changes, particularly temperature. We investigated the role of temperature in suicidal behaviors and have analyzed whether the affiliation varies with gender and age in Mysuru, India between 2007 and 2016.

Methods: Suicide data, categorized by Month of suicide, age, gender, and method of suicide were provided by 22 Karnataka state police stations. The data was subjected to chi-squared distribution test and the frequency of suicides at each seasons with respect to age and gender were analyzed.

Results: A total of 4254 completed suicidal cases were obtained in the examined period. A clear seasonal pattern was observed, with suicidal frequencies being highest between February and May (40%) and lowest between June and January (10%) and the percentage of suicidal incidences in the age group of 21-40 is more (56.2%) compared to other age groups.

Conclusion: This study shows that suicides followed a seasonal pattern, with a maximum peak in summer. We have observed that suicidal rates are high among males and this examination also reveals a higher rate of suicidal incidences among younger ones comparatively. Hence we speculate that seasonal changes in temperature account for variations in the number of suicides. Temperature, which increases the concentration of serotonin neurotransmission, may trigger increased impulsivity and promote suicidal behaviors, which require a further more research to clarify the role of temperature in triggering neurobiological changes in brain.

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Serotonin; Temperature; Seasonality; Suicide; Mysuru

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