Secular trends in the rates and seasonality of violent and nonviolent suicide occurrences in Finland during 1980-95

J Affect Disord. 1998 Jul;50(1):49-54. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0327(98)00031-7.


Background: Because secular trends in seasonality of different types of suicides has not been studied before, we utilized a novel statistical method to evaluate this phenomenon by using national Finnish suicide statistics during 1980-95.

Methods: Rates were analyzed with ordinary linear regression analysis. Secular trends were evaluated using ratio-statistic and its 95% confidence intervals.

Results: The rate of violent suicides increased before year 1990 and decreased since that. The nonviolent suicide rate increased continuously. The decreasing tendency of seasonality in nonviolent suicides and a slight decrease in violent suicides are seen within the three successive time periods studied.

Conclusions: Trends in rates and in seasonality of suicides might be related to changes in the health politics in Finland.

Limitations: The short time-series and lack of studying associations of suicides with socioeconomic, environmental or biological factors are limitations of our study.

Clinical relevance: Studying the time-dependent changes in rates and in seasonality of suicides provide a novel perspective for the evaluation of the aetiology of suicidal behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Seasons*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*