Navigation Links
Climate change linked to increase in Australia's suicide rates: QUT study
Date:2/19/2014

Researcher Xin Qi, from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, studied the socioenvironmental drivers of suicide rates in Australia over 20 years and found variations in temperatures coupled with spikes in unemployment were significant risk factors for suicide.

His research, completed as part of his PhD, has helped to pinpoint who and when people might be at higher risk of suicide.

"What we found was that when the difference of the monthly average temperature in the current month compared with the previous one month increased by 1 degree, there was a 3 per cent increase in suicide in Brisbane and Sydney," Dr Qi said.

"For example, when looking at Sydney, if the temperature difference between September and October (2.55 degrees) was 1.5 degrees higher than that between August and September (1.05 degrees), then we saw a 4.5 per cent increase of suicide in October compared with September.

"Based on Australia's climate the high risk seasons for Brisbane and Sydney are spring and early summer, so it is therefore necessary to strengthen current monitoring systems on attempted suicide especially in areas with high unemployment rates.

"As global climate change and financial recession continue, it is vital to develop local interventions to reduce suicidal risk."

Dr Qi said when unemployment rates were added to the mix, suicide rates increased significantly.

"For example a 1 per cent increase in unemployment rate is associated with a 5 per cent risk of higher suicide in Brisbane and Perth," he said.

"In months with a higher unemployment rate, the temperature difference between adjacent months had more of a significant association with suicide in Brisbane compared with months with a low unemployment rate."

While Dr Qi's research did not reveal why this occurred, he said previous studies had shown temperature could be attributed to seasonal changes in physiological conditions of the body such as levels of serotonin - which is related to wellness and happiness.

Dr Qi said the study also found there were two significant suicide clusters in Australia - Mornington Shire (northwest of Queensland) and the Bathurst-Melville area (north of the Northern Territory), especially after the mid-1990s.

"We also found some suburbs of Adelaide identified as major clusters in male suicide.

"These areas were low socio-economic areas or with high Indigenous populations."

Dr Qi said the study had important implications for evidence-based public health policy on suicide control and prevention.

He said unemployment and temperature change had an interactive effect on suicide.

"Even though Australia has suicide control and prevention plans, few consider the impact of environmental factors in suicide prevention programs," he said.

"There needs to be more attention to the potential of increased suicide risks posed by climate change, especially in vulnerable groups like the unemployed or Indigenous communities."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sandra Hutchinson
s3.hutchinson@qut.edu.au
61-738-004-692
Queensland University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
2. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
3. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
4. Fielding questions about climate change
5. Glacier-fed river systems threatened by climate change
6. Beating famine: Sustainable food security through land regeneration in a changing climate
7. Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change
8. Why spring is blooming marvelous (and climate change makes it earlier)
9. Carnegies Greg Asner named Energy/Climate Fellow by US State Department
10. Declines in Caribbean coral reefs pre-date damage resulting from climate change
11. Some corals like it hot: Heat stress may help coral reefs survive climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/20/2017)... DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of their boarding ... ... biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May at the ... to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in CLEAR to ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing ... event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, ... 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions ... various industries. France ... market, with a 30 percent increase in the number of ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient ... organizations, and MD EMR Systems , an ... partner for GE, have established a partnership to ... product and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity ... These new integrations will allow ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have ... presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer ... first quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With ... with the challenge of how to continue to feed a growing nation. At the ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating ... Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding into ... a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: