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Journal Article


Fountoulakis KN. J. Affect. Disord. 2019; 260: 174-182.


Professor of Psychiatry, 3rd Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 6, Odysseos str, 55535 Thessaloniki, Greece. Electronic address:


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: There is disagreement on the specific mechanism through which the economic recession increased suicides in Greece. Unemployment is considered by many authors to be the determining factor but the data are inconclusive and often negative, especially concerning the temporal relationship between onset of increase in unemployment and increase in suicides AIMS: The aim of this paper was to clarify the specific role of unemployment as well as of other socioeconomic variables on specific age-by-gender groups concerning the increase in suicides.

METHODS: Data of the Hellenic Statistical Authority ELSTAT (www. STATISTICS: gr) were analyzed with Linear Regression Analysis and Bonferroni correction for multiple testing RESULTS: Unemployment correlates with suicide rates only in males aged 20-24, 50-54 and 60-64 years (p < 0.001). Unemployment could held responsible for an additional 148 male deaths during the period 2009-2015, which accounts for 5.3% of the total (29 additional deaths per year). The changes in all the socioeconomic conditions could held responsible for 317 cases of suicide or 9.4% of total CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study suggest that there was a 33% increase in deaths by suicide in Greece during the early years of recession (2009-2015); one third could be directly attributed to unemployment, one third to other consequences of recession while another third is of unknown origin. The effect of unemployment is specifically restricted to males at the beginning of their working career (20-24 years old) and to middle aged (45-49 and 55-59 years old).

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Austerity; Economic crisis; Greece; Suicide


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