Seasonal variation in suicides: diminished or vanished. Experience from England and Wales, 1982-1996

Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Oct;177:366-9. doi: 10.1192/bjp.177.4.366.


Background: Seasonal variation in suicidal death has been observed in many countries. In particular, a cyclic variation was found for both men and women in England and Wales in the 1960s and 1970s. Men showed a single 12-month cycle whereas women showed two cycles.

Aims: To re-examine the seasonal variation in suicides in England and Wales for the period 1982-1996.

Method: A harmonic analysis was used to detect the seasonality of the suicide data.

Results: The seasonal effect on suicide is greatly diminished in England and Wales. This is shown by the reduced amplitude and smaller proportion of variance accounted for by the season.

Conclusions: The seasonal effect on suicide has either diminished or vanished.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Seasons*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Suicide / prevention & control
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wales / epidemiology