Blue Monday Is Real for Suicide: A Case–Control Study of 188,601 Suicides

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Abstract

Many studies have reported that suicides tend to occur on Mondays. However, owing to a lack of controls, conclusive findings on the potential effects of a day of the week on suicides have been lacking. We analyzed public data for causes of death from 1997 to 2015 in the Republic of Korea. Accidental death was used as a control group. The probability of suicide on each day of the week according to age group was calculated. A total of 377,204 deaths (188,601 suicides and 188,603 accidental deaths) were used. The frequency of suicide was highest on Monday and decreased throughout the week until Saturday. Accidental death was highest on Saturday and showed no variations according to weekday. For people in their teens and 20s, the probabilities of suicide on Monday were 9% and 10% higher, respectively, than those on Sunday. As age increased, the differences in suicide probability according to the day of the week were attenuated. The so-called Blue Monday effect is real, particularly for people in their teens and 20s. Suicide prevention strategies that aim to attenuate the burden and stress of Mondays should be planned.

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