Year: 2020 Source: Cureus. (2020). 12(10), e10830. doi:10.7759/cureus.10830 SIEC No: 20200801

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States (US) and the prevalence continues to increase. It is estimated that there is an average of 25 attempted suicides for every suicide death in the US, and the economic burden of suicide and attempted suicide is high. Identification of those at risk for suicide and attempted suicide can help with early and prompt intervention. Studies in Europe and Asia have shown that there is a relationship between seasonal patterns and suicidal risk. However, little is known about seasonal patterns of suicidal attempts in the US. Therefore, our study aimed to assess seasonal patterns by days of the week and months of the year in the US.

Hospitalized adult patients with suicide attempts and self-inflicted injury were identified using the discharge data from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2014. We looked at the seasonal trends of patients with attempted suicide and self-inflicted injury by weekday vs weekend and month of the year over the five-year study period. We also assessed two groups, male and female with attempted suicide and compared trends and contributing risk factors over the study period using Student’s t-test and chi-square test.

A total of 249,845 patients with attempted suicide and self-inflicted injury were reported during the study period with a prevalence rate increase of 15%, among which 70% were males, 65.5% white and 38.8% were age 40-64 years. An overall prevalence rate of about 168-200 per 100,000 hospitalizations was reported. There was a higher admission rate on weekends as compared to weekdays (190-300 vs 150-178 per 100,000 hospitalizations). Attempted suicide and self-inflicted injury admissions peaked during the months of July and August with a peak period range of 200-230 per 100,000 hospitalizations in a year.

The prevalence of attempted suicide is steadily rising. Awareness of the seasonal and epidemiological trends of attempted suicide and self-inflicted injury is a very important step towards developing effective strategies to prevent suicide and attempted suicide.