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Study: Sunny Days May Boost Suicide Rate

A recent study has found a link between sunlight exposure and suicide rates; adding further evidence to previous studies.

Shawn Thomas, CBS Atlanta, Sep 14, 2014

Researchers in Austria found that the number of suicides increased with the hours of daily sunshine for the day of the suicide as well as for prior sunny days, according the Live Science.

“Sunshine on the day of suicide and up to 10 days prior to suicide seems to facilitate suicide,” researchers wrote in the study report.

On the other hand, when long-term sunshine was looked at, suicide rates decreased.

Therefore, if 14 to 60 of the days prior included sunshine, suicide rates were reduced, indicating a possible “protective effect.”

These results differ a little when looking at the link across genders.

More daily sunshine hours and higher suicide rates was more closely tied with women, while long-term sunshine and lower suicide rates was more closely tied with men.

The researchers are by no means suggests that weather changes cause suicide.

Other studies have looked at the relationship between weather and suicide with similar results, and the cause of this is not yet known.

Numerous studies have addressed this link, citing that light can interact with serotonin levels; a neurotransmitter that affects individuals’ moods.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, on average, 105 people commit suicide each day, with suicide being the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds.

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