Analysis of daily climate-suicide relationships in Mississippi
P. Grady Dixon, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS; and D. M. Brommer
The purpose of this study is to determine whether suicide rates change in response to weather patterns at sub-monthly time scales (i.e., weeks and days) in Mississippi. Daily suicides, along with the age and sex of each case, are provided by the Mississippi State Department of Health for the period 1980–2006. The five most populous counties (100,000+ residents) are analyzed, and they include DeSoto, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, and Rankin. Climate data are obtained for local stations from NCDC. For the daily analysis, the climate data for each day are compared to suicide rates for that day as well as each of the next seven days to account for a potential lag or cumulative effect. It is unclear, based on previous research, whether suicide rates are more likely to be altered by a sudden change in climate conditions or the presence of certain uninterrupted conditions. Linear regression of actual daily climate and suicide data, as well as data that have been normalized to remove non-climatic seasonal effects, is used to show the correlations between weather and suicide rates. Discriminant analysis is then used to measure the differences in weather data for days with exceptionally high suicide rates (95th percentile) as opposed to days with more moderate suicide rates. The statistically significant relationships are discussed and compared in order to draw conclusions about the effects of climate on suicide rates.
Session 4, Biometeorology and Public Health In Urban Areas
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Room 124B
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