Sunday, July 12, 2009

U.S. Suicides Peak on Wednesdays

In the recent issue of Soc Psychiat Epidemiol, authors Augustine Kposowa and Stephanie D'Auria from the University of California review U.S. death certificate data from 2000-2004, and find that suicides are twice as likely to occur on a Wednesday than on a Sunday. No clear reasons why, but it is tempting to speculate.

They also replicated previous findings that Spring and Summer are more deadly than Autumn and Winter, whites are at higher risk than minorities, and that men are three times more likely to die of suicide than women.

I looked up the origin of the word Wednesday (from Woden's Day). Woden was an Anglo-Saxon god, thought to be the entity responsible for carrying off the deceased's soul to the next plane. (See also Dead Like Me).

The full-text article is available as open access here.