n South African Psychiatry Review - The effect of geomagnetic storms on suicide : research article

Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1811-7805



&lt;i&gt;&lt;b&gt;Objectives&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/i&gt; : To correlate geomagnetic storm activity with suicide rates. &lt;i&gt;&lt;b&gt;Design&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/b&gt; : A retrospective analysis over a 13 year period, Janaury 1980 to December 1992. &lt;i&gt;&lt;b&gt;Setting&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/b&gt; : Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (data on geomagnetic storm activity), South African Central Statistical Services (data on suicide rates). &lt;i&gt;&lt;b&gt;Subjects&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/b&gt; : Nil. <i><b>Outcome measures&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/b&gt; : Geomagnetic storm activity and suicide rates. &lt;i&gt;&lt;b&gt;Results&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/b&gt; : A significant correlation (r= 0, 6964 ; p&lt; 0, 01) was found between the mean total of suicides and the mean average of storm activity during the same period. This correlation was true of both male (r= 0, 6301 ; p&lt; 0, 025) and female (r= 0, 7544 ; p&lt; 0, 005) suicides. &lt;i&gt;&lt;b&gt;Conclusions&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/b&gt; : Geomagnetic storm activity is correlated with suicide, and confirms previous research suggesting an impact of ambient magnetic field activity on behaviour.

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