Evidence that latitude is directly related to variation in suicide rates

Can J Psychiatry. 2002 Aug;47(6):572-4. doi: 10.1177/070674370204700611.


Objective: To use available suicide-rate data from 20 countries to see patterns and relations more clearly.

Method: We obtained raw suicide rates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) database from 1960 through 1997 and calculated averages and standard deviations.

Results: There is a positive linear relation between the variation in suicide rate and geographic latitude.

Conclusions: The variation in light-dark cycles is superimposed upon human mood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Climate*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Light
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology