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Suicide Attempts and Their Interrelation With the Economic Crisis in Chania, Greece: A Time-Series Analysis of the Period 2008-2015

Emmanouil S. Benioudakis, BSc; Vyronas Lykiardopoulos, MD; Vaggelis Georgiou, MSc; Maria D. Archontaki, MSc; Alexandra Tsourounaki, BSc; Georgia Botonaki, MD; Aikaterini Batzou, MSc; Tsampikos Symiakos, MD; Theodora Seliniotaki, BSc; Athanasios Armagos, BSc; Aikaterini Pentari, MSc; Konstantinos Moiradorakis, BA; Eleanna Darakis, BSc; and Maria Melissari-Tzanakaki, MD

Published: January 19, 2017

Article Abstract

Background: Greece has been in the grip of a severe economic crisis since 2008. It is well known that suicide attempts and actual suicides increase during periods of recession and austerity. The main aim of this study was to examine the economic crisis in relation to recorded suicide attempts in Chania, Greece, from 2008 to 2015, also taking unemployment rates into consideration.

Methods: During the research period from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2015, 436 suicide attempts (females: n = 305 and males: n = 131) were recorded in the archives of the General Hospital of Chania. The data collected, analyzed, and used in the present study were from the archives of the emergency outpatient unit of the hospital. The unemployment data are from the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

Results: The rate of suicide attempts peaked in 2012 and remained relatively high until 2015. The most common suicide attempt method was poisoning by medication, with a percentage of 74.4%. In addition, the most prominent stressors related to the suicide attempts were family problems and relationship problems between couples: 40.2%. There was a statistically significant relationship between suicide attempts and unemployment rates (adjusted RR: 1.08; 95% CI, 1.07-1.09).

Conclusions: Severe economic crisis seems to increase the rates of suicide attempts. The need for more detailed investigation is essential to provide insight into this global problem.

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