Past Issues

Air Pollutants and Suicide Rate: A Cross-sectional Time Series Analysis

Jui-Feng Tsai

Objectives: Recently, studies have shown a positive relationship between air pollutants and suicide. But, the previous studies did not take other significant fac-tors into consideration. The present study was intended to explore the relationship between the air pollutant concentrations and suicide rate by cross-sectional time series analysis considering other significant factors simultaneously. Methods: I gathered the annual suicide rates, socioeconomic parameters, meteorological data, and concentrations of five air pollutants -- sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM10) -- in Taiwan during 1994-2009. Then, I did a pooled cross-sectional time series analysis. Results: Random effect model was identified as the final model, indicating the spouseless population having the most significant risk factor for suicide (z = 4.27, p < 0.001). PM10 was also found to play a significant rôle in suicide (z = 2.56, p < 0.05); while SO2, NO2, O3, and CO were found to be nonsignificant. Conclusion: The results identify PM10 as a possible risk factor for suicide. The present findings complement previous studies by providing the viewpoint from a longer aspect as well as a broader cross-sectional distribution, with the consideration of some more potential confounders.
Key Word air pollutants, cross-sectional time series analysis, PM10, suicide
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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