Suicide deaths and nonfatal hospital admissions for deliberate self-harm in the United States

Ted R. Miller, C. Debra Furr-Holden, Bruce A. Lawrence, Harold B. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: No one knows whether the temporality of nonfatal deliberate self-harm in the United States mirrors the temporality of suicide deaths. Aims: To analyze dayand month-specific variation in population rates for suicide fatalities and, separately, for hospital admissions for nonfatal deliberate self-harm. Methods: For 12 states, we extracted vital statistics data on all suicides (n = 11,429) and hospital discharge data on all nonfatal deliberate self-harm admissions (n = 60,870) occurring in 1997. We used multinomial logistic regression to analyze the significance of day-to-day and month-to-month variations in the occurrence of suicides and nonfatal deliberate self-harm admissions. Results: Both fatal and nonfatal events had a 6%-10% excess occurrence on Monday and Tuesday and were 5%-13% less likely to occur on Saturdays (p <.05). Males were more likely than females to act on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Nonfatal admission rates were 6% above the average in April and May (p <.05). In contrast, suicide rates were 6% above the average in February and March and 8% below it in November (p <.05). Conclusions: Suicides and nonfatal hospital admissions for deliberate self-harm have peaks and troughs on the same days in the United States. In contrast, the monthly patterns for these fatal and nonfatal events are not congruent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalCrisis
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Multinominal logistic regression
  • Seasonality
  • Self-harm
  • Temporality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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