Seasonal distribution of suicide in alcoholism

Authors

  • Louise Brådvik,

    1. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Lund University Hospital, Lund and Department of Clinical Alcohol Research, University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Lund University, Sweden
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  • Mats Berglund

    1. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Lund University Hospital, Lund and Department of Clinical Alcohol Research, University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Lund University, Sweden
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Mats Berglund Department of Clinical Alcohol Research, University Hospital MAS, S-205 02 Malmoe, Sweden

Abstract

Brådvik L, Berglund M. Seasonal distribution of suicide in alcoholism. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2002: 106: 299–302. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2002.

Objective: To investigate the seasonal distribution of suicide in alcohol dependence and to make a comparison with unnatural death in alcoholism and suicide in other diagnostic groups.

Method: Multiaxial ratings of all patients admitted to the Department of Psychiatry in Lund enabled the selection of patients with alcohol dependence (n=1312) during 1949–1969. When followed up to 1997 a total of 102 (99 men) alcoholic patients had taken their own life. Reference groups were patients with severe depression and autopsy cases with other diagnoses.

Results: The alcoholic patients showed a peak during the second quarter of the year (34%, P < 0.05). Other diagnostic groups of suicide and unnatural death in alcoholism did not show any overrepresentation in the spring.

Conclusion: Male alcoholics showed a spring peak of suicide as opposed to other diagnostic groups.

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