Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Isaia Chatzikosta, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Konstantinos Pastiadis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Prodromos Zanis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Wolfram Kawohl, University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich
Ad JFM Kerkhof, VU University Amsterdam
Alvydas Navickas, Vilnius University
Cyril Höschl, National Institute of Mental Health, Czech Republic
Dusica Lecic-Tosevski, Institute of Mental Health, Serbia
Eliot Sorel, The George Washington University
Elmars Rancans, Riga Strandins University
Eva Palova, University Hospital, Slovakia
Georg Juckel, Ruhr University Bochum
Goran Isacsson, Karolinska Institute
Helena Korosec Jagodic, Psychiatric Hospital Vojnik
Ileana Botezat-Antonescu, National Mental Health Center and Anti-drug, Romania
Janusz Rybakowski, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Jean Michel Azorin, Sante Marguerite Hospital, France
John Cookson, East London NHS Trust
John Waddington, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Peter Pregelj, University Psychiatric Hospital, Slovenia
Koen Demyttenaere, University Psychiatric Center KU Leuven
Luchezar G. Hranov, University Hospital for Active Treatment in Neurology and Psychiatry, Bulgaria
Lidija Injac Stevovic, University of Montenegro
Lucas Pezawas, Medical University of Vienna
Marc Adida, Sante Marguerite Hospital, France
Maria Luisa Figuera, University of Lisbon
Miro Jakovljević, University Hospital Center Zagreb
Monica Vichi, National Institute of Health (ISS), Italy
Giulio Perugi, University of Pisa
Ole A. Andreassen, University of Oslo
Olivera Vukovic, University of Belgrade
Paraskevi Mavrogiorgou, Ruhr University Bochum
Peeter Varnik, Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute, Estonia
Peter Dome, Technical University of Budapest
Petr Winkler, National Institute of Mental Health, Czech Republic
Raimo KR Salokangas, University of Turku
Tiina From, University of Turku
Vita Danileviciute, Vilnius University
Xenia Gonda, Semmelweis University
Zoltan Rihmer, National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions, Hungary
Jonas Forsman, Karolinska Institute
Anne Grady, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Thomas Hyphantis, Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece
Ingrid Dieset, University of Oslo
Susan Soendergaard, University of Copenhagen
Maurizio Pompili, University of Rome
Per Bech, University of Copenhagen

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Austerity, Climate, Europe, Suicide.


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BACKGROUND: It is well known that suicidal rates vary considerably among European countries and the reasons for this are unknown, although several theories have been proposed. The effect of economic variables has been extensively studied but not that of climate. METHODS: Data from 29 European countries covering the years 2000-2012 and concerning male and female standardized suicidal rates (according to WHO), economic variables (according World Bank) and climate variables were gathered. The statistical analysis included cluster and principal component analysis and categorical regression. RESULTS: The derived models explained 62.4 % of the variability of male suicidal rates. Economic variables alone explained 26.9 % and climate variables 37.6 %. For females, the respective figures were 41.7, 11.5 and 28.1 %. Male suicides correlated with high unemployment rate in the frame of high growth rate and high inflation and low GDP per capita, while female suicides correlated negatively with inflation. Both male and female suicides correlated with low temperature. DISCUSSION: The current study reports that the climatic effect (cold climate) is stronger than the economic one, but both are present. It seems that in Europe suicidality follows the climate/temperature cline which interestingly is not from south to north but from south to north-east. This raises concerns that climate change could lead to an increase in suicide rates. The current study is essentially the first successful attempt to explain the differences across countries in Europe; however, it is an observational analysis based on aggregate data and thus there is a lack of control for confounders.


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Fountoulakis KN, Chatzikosta I, Pastiadis K, Zanis P, Kawohl W, Kerkhof AJFM, Navickas A, Höschl C, Lecic‑Tosevski D, Sorel E, Rancans E, Palova E, Juckel G, Isacsson G, Jagodic HK, Botezat‑Antonescu I, Rybakowski J, Azorin JM, Cookson J, Waddington J, Pregelj P, Demyttenaere K, Hranov LG, Stevovic LI, Pezawas L, Adida M, Figuera ML, Jakovljević M, Vichi M, Perugi G, Andreassen OA, Vukovic O, Mavrogiorgou P, Varnik P, Dome P, Winkler P, Salokangas RKR, From T, Danileviciute V, Gonda X, Rihmer Z, Forsman J, Grady A, Hyphantis T, Dieset I, Soendergaard S, Pompili M, Bech P. Relationship of suicide rates with climate and economic variables in Europe during 2000-2012. Annals of General Psychiatry. 2016;15:19.

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