Year: 2021 Source: European Journal of Public Health, 30(1), 92-98. SIEC No: 20210262

Few studies have assessed the impact of the financial crisis on inequalities in suicide mortality in European urban areas. The objective of the study was to analyse the trend in area socioeconomic inequalities in suicide mortality in nine European urban areas before and after the beginning of the financial crisis.


This ecological study of trends was based on three periods, two before the economic crisis (2000–2003, 2004–2008) and one during the crisis (2009–2014). The units of analysis were the small areas of nine European cities or metropolitan areas, with a median population ranging from 271 (Turin) to 193 630 (Berlin). For each small area and sex, we analysed smoothed standardized mortality ratios of suicide mortality and their relationship with a socioeconomic deprivation index using a hierarchical Bayesian model.


Among men, the relative risk (RR) comparing suicide mortality of the 95th percentile value of socioeconomic deprivation (severe deprivation) to its 5th percentile value (low deprivation) were higher than 1 in Stockholm and Lisbon in the three periods. In Barcelona, the RR was 2.06 (95% credible interval: 1.24–3.21) in the first period, decreasing in the other periods. No significant changes were observed across the periods. Among women, a positive significant association was identified only in Stockholm (RR around 2 in the three periods). There were no significant changes across the periods except in London with a RR of 0.49 (95% CI: 0.35–0.68) in the third period.


Area socioeconomic inequalities in suicide mortality did not change significantly after the onset of the crisis in the areas studied.