Association of meteorological factors with suicide

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2003 Dec;108(6):455-9. doi: 10.1046/j.0001-690x.2003.00219.x.


Objective: To identify weather factors associated with an increased risk of suicide. In a number of prior studies an influence of meteorological conditions on the incidence of suicide or attempted suicide has been suggested.

Method: Official data on the suicide cases of the state of Tyrol, Austria, assessed over a period of 6 years (n = 702) were correlated with a number of meteorological factors assessed at eight weather stations.

Results: The risk of committing suicide was significantly higher on days with high temperatures, low relative humidity or a thunderstorm and on days following a thunderstorm. The multiple logistic regression analysis left "temperature" and "thunderstorm on the preceding day" as significant factors, even after adjustment for sociodemographic and geographical variables.

Conclusion: Within the interaction of psychological and environmental influences in the development of suicidal ideation and behaviour, specific meteorological conditions may additionally contribute to the risk of suicide in predisposed individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Causality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Meteorological Concepts*
  • Seasons
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Weather*