NEEDS: Dynamic Urban Environmental Exposures on Depression and Suicide


Considerable space-time suicide risk across Germany

A paper on space-time suicide risk using Bayesian modeling has been published in Scientific Reports.

Despite comprehensive prevention programs in Germany, suicide has been on the rise again since 2007. The underlying reasons and spatiotemporal risk patterns are poorly understood. We assessed the spatiotemporal risk of suicide per district attributable to multiple risk and protective factors longitudinally for the period 2007–11. Bayesian space–time regression models were fitted. The nationwide temporal trend showed an increase in relative risk (RR) of dying from suicide (RR 1.008, 95% credibility intervals (CI) 1.001–1.016), whereas district-specific deviations from the grand trend occurred. Striking patterns of amplified risk emerged in southern Germany. While the number of general practitioners was positively related (RR 1.003, 95% CI 1.000–1.006), income was negatively and non-linearly related with suicide risk, as was population density. Unemployment was associated and showed a marked nonlinearity. Neither depression prevalence nor mental health service supply were related. The findings are vital for the implementation of future suicide prevention programs. Concentrating preventive efforts on vulnerable areas of excess risk is recommended.