Authors
Osaki, Yoneatsu Division of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB KAKEN
Otsuki, Hitoshi Division of Medical Zoology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB KAKEN
Imamoto, Aya Division of Pediatrics and Perinatology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB
Kinjo, Aya Division of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB KAKEN
Fujii, Maya Division of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB
Kuwabara, Yuki Division of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB
Kondo, Yoko Division of Medical Zoology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University Researchers DB
Suyama, Yoshiko Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Researchers DB KAKEN
Keywords
Social crisis
COVID-19 pandemic
Suicide
Earthquake
Mortality
Abstract
We aimed to observe the changes in suicide rates after the Great East Japan Earthquake and during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as typical cases of social crises, in Japan. A descriptive epidemiological study was conducted using data on the number of deaths by suicide published by the National Police Agency. The suicide rate ratio during the crisis—the monthly suicide mortality rate in the year of the crisis divided by the average suicide mortality rate in the three years before the crisis—was used as the indicator. After the earthquake, in March 2011 the suicide rate was 18% lower than the average mortality rate for the previous three years. However, it increased by 18% in May and 8% in June; increased mortality was observed among women. The suicide rate began to decline after October 2011. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the suicide rate decreased from February to June 2020. The declines in April and May were significant at 20% and 18%, respectively. From July onwards, the suicide rate of women began to rise, and from October, the overall suicide also began to increase. The rise in female suicide rates was significant, especially in October, with an increase of 70%. Thus, during these crises, suicide rates fell temporarily but then rose, especially among women. The period of increase in suicide rates was longer during the COVID-19 pandemic than after the earthquake. Therefore, there is an urgent need to promote measures for suicide prevention currently, and during a future crisis.
Publisher
Elsevier.
Content Type
Journal Article
Link
ISSN
00223956
Journal Title
Journal of Psychiatric Research
Current Journal Title
Journal of Psychiatric Research
Volume
140
Start Page
39
End Page
44
Published Date
2021-08
Publisher-DOI
Text Version
Author
Rights
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Citation
Osaki, Yoneatsu. Otsuki, Hitoshi. Imamoto, Aya. et al. Suicide rates during social crises: Changes in the suicide rate in Japan after the Great East Japan earthquake and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 140. 39-44. 2021-08-31.
Department
Faculty of Medicine/Graduate School of Medical Sciences/University Hospital
Language
English
pii
S0022-3956(21)00304-6