Association between air pollution and suicide in South Korea: a nationwide study.
Suggestive associations of suicide with air pollutant concentrations have been reported. Recognizing regional and temporal variability of pollutant concentrations and of suicide, we undertook a detailed meta-analysis of completed suicides in relation to 5 major pollutants over 6 years in the 16 administrative regions of the Republic of Korea, while also controlling for other established influences on suicide rates. Of the 5 major pollutants examined, ozone concentrations had a powerful association with suicide rate, extending back to 4 weeks. Over the range of 2 standard deviations (SD) around the annual mean ozone concentration, the adjusted suicide rate increased by an estimated 7.8% of the annual mean rate. Particulate matter pollution also had a significant effect, strongest with a 4-week lag, equivalent to 3.6% of the annual mean rate over the same 2 SD range that approximated the half of annual observed range. These results strongly suggest deleterious effects of ozone and particulate matter pollution on the major public health problem of suicide.
Kim, Y; Myung, W; Won, H-H; Shim, S; Jeon, HJ; Choi, J; Carroll, BJ; Kim, DK
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