A Role of Sunshine in the Triggering of Suicide


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Abstract

Several reports indicate that suicide follows a seasonal pattern with a dominant peak during the month of maximum daylight. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the hypothesis that sunshine exposure may trigger suicidal behavior. We found a remarkably consistent pattern of seasonality with peak incidence around June in the northern hemisphere and December in the southern hemisphere. Moreover, there was a positive association between the seasonal amplitude of suicide (measured by relative risk) and total sunshine in the corresponding country. These findings indicate that sunshine may have a triggering effect on suicide, and suggests further research in the field of sunshine-regulated hormones, particularly melatonin.

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