Suicide rates in Iceland before and after the 2008 Global Recession: a nationwide population-based study.
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AuthorsÁsgeirsdóttir, Hildur G
Valdimarsdóttir, Unnur A
Lund, Sigrún H
Þorsteinsdóttir, Þórdís K
Ásgeirsdóttir, Tinna L
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CitationÁsgeirsdóttir HG, Valdimarsdóttir UA, Nyberg U, Lund SH, Tomasson G, Þorsteinsdóttir ÞK, Ásgeirsdóttir TL, Hauksdóttir A. Suicide rates in Iceland before and after the 2008 Global Recession: a nationwide population-based study. Eur J Public Health. 2020 Dec 11;30(6):1102-1108. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckaa121.
AbstractBackground: Economic downturns have been associated with increased suicide rates. The 2008 global financial crisis varied across countries but hit Iceland relatively hard. We aimed to study potential changes in suicide rates in Iceland during this major economic transition. Methods: Data were retrieved on all suicides in Iceland during 2002-14. The study period was divided into a pre-collapse period (2002-08) and a post-collapse period (2008-14). Poisson regression models were used to estimate the association between pre-to-post economic collapse and suicide rates, expressed as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Analyses were stratified by age and sex. Results: A total of 470 suicides were recorded during the study period. The mean age at death was 45 years and 75% were males. The overall suicide rates per 100 000 were 13.3 pre-collapse and 15 post-collapse revealing no overall differences in pre-to-post collapse (RR 1.12; CI 0.94-1.35). This was true for both men and women (RR 1.18; CI 0.96-1.46 and RR 0.96; CI 0.67-1.38, respectively). An increase in the unemployment rate was not associated with the overall suicide rate (RR 1.07; CI 0.86-1.33), and neither were changes in gross domestic product (RR 1.29; CI 0.94-1.79) or balance of trade (RR 1.08; CI 0.96-1.22). Conclusion: The economic collapse and rising unemployment rates in Iceland did not result in an overall increase in suicide rates. A strong welfare system and investing in social protection during the economic crisis may have mitigated suicide risk.
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Rights© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
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