INFLUENCE OF SEASONALITY ON SUICIDAL HANGING IN ISTANBUL, 1979-2012: ASSOCIATIONS WITH GENDER, AGE, LOCATION AND INSTRUMENTS OF SUICIDE
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Objective: Seasonal variations in deaths by suicide have been reported in many countries. However, in Turkey there is no substantial research on this topic. The aim of this study is to examine the influence of the seasons on suicides by hanging in Istanbul during the period 1979 to 2012 and to assess the associations of seasonal suicide by hanging with gender, age, location and instruments. Material and Method: This paper describes the demographic characteristics of suicidal hanging victims for the past 33 years. A total number of 82871 autopsies were performed in the Council of Forensic Medicine in Istanbul Turkey Morgue Department between 1979 and 2012; 4502 (5.43%) of these deaths occurred as a result of hanging. 4502 suicides by hanging were selected using the study criteria. Results: In this study, most victims were male and the mean age was 37.8 years. Most suicides took place at home but also occurred in prisons, open and built-up areas and workplaces. 455 victims hanged themselves with rope. Inseasonal spring and summer, hangings peaked among total population. The seasonal distribution of the hangings showed a significant difference in both sexes as evidenced by the goodness of the fit test. There were no statistically significant seasonal variations of suicidal hanging for age, location and instrument. Conclusion: The results show that the highest rates were observed in the warmest months. This study is an important source of epidemiological data for suicide by hanging.