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Serotonergic medication enhances the association between suicide and sunshine
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital.
Karolinska Inst, Karolinska Univ Hosp, Dept Med Solna, Clin Epidemiol Unit, Stockholm, Sweden..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics. Sweden..
Karolinska Inst, Ctr Mol Med, Dept Mol Med & Surg, Stockholm, Sweden.;Tiohundra AB, Dept Psychiat, Norrtalje, Sweden..
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, E-ISSN 1573-2517, Vol. 189, 276-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Background: An association between suicide and sunshine has been reported. The effect of sunshine on hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin has been hypothesized to exert a possible triggering effect on susceptible individuals. The aim of this study is to examine if there is an association between sunshine and suicide, adjusting for season, and if such an association differs between individuals on different antidepressants. Methods: By using Swedish Registers and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute we obtained information, including forensic data on antidepressive medication for 12,448 suicides and data on monthly sunshine duration. The association between monthly suicide and sunshine hours was examined with Poisson regression analyses while stratifying for sex and age and controlling for time trend and season. These analyses were repeated in different groups of antidepressant treatment. Results: We found a significantly increased suicide risk with increasing sunshine in both men and women. This finding disappeared when we adjusted for season. Among both men and women treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) there was a positive association between sunshine and suicide even after adjustment for season and time trend for suicide. Pair comparisons showed that the sunshine-suicide association was stronger among men treated with SSRIs compared to other antidepressant medications or no medication at all. Limitations: Other meteorological factors were not controlled (i.e. temperature) for in the analyses. Conclusions: There is an enhanced association between sunshine and suicide among those with SSRI medication, even after adjusting for season. This may have interesting theoretical and clinical implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 189, 276-281 p.
Keyword [en]
Seasonality, Suicide, Serotonin
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269956DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.09.056ISI: 000364170200041PubMedID: 26454332OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-269956DiVA: diva2:885612
Available from: 2015-12-19 Created: 2015-12-19 Last updated: 2015-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Makris, Georgios D.Larsson, RolfEkselius, LisaPapadopoulos, Fotios C.
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Psychiatry, University HospitalDepartment of Mathematics
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