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A Suicide Peak after Weekends and Holidays in Patients with Alcohol Dependence

Authors

  • Louise Brådvik MD,

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

    Corresponding author
    1. associated with the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Lund University Hospital, Lund, and the Department of Clinical Alcohol Research, University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Sweden.
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  • This study was supported by grants from the Swedish Medical Council, the Public Health Services of Lund, the Sjöbring Fund, and the O.M. Persson Memorial Fund.

Dept. of Clinical Alcohol Research, University Hospital MAS, S-205 02 Malmö, Sweden. Email: mats.berglund@alk.mas.lu.se

Abstract

This paper analyzes the variation of suicide by day of the week in alcohol dependence, with public holidays taken into consideration. From 1949 through 1969, 1,312 patients with alcohol dependence were admitted to the Department of Psychiatry in Lund. By 1997, a total of 102 (99 men) alcoholic patients had taken their own life. Suicide victims with severe depression and other diagnoses were compared. There was a suicide peak on the first two days after weekends and holidays in patients with alcohol dependence (p < .05). Alcohol withdrawal is proposed as a contributor to the suicide peak.

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