Solar radiation increases suicide rate after adjusting for other climate factors in South Korea

Hee Jung Jee, Chul Hyun Cho, Yu Jin Lee, Nari Choi, Hyonggin An, Heon Jeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Previous studies have indicated that suicide rates have significant seasonal variations. There is seasonal discordance between temperature and solar radiation due to the monsoon season in South Korea. We investigated the seasonality of suicide and assessed its association with climate variables in South Korea. Method: Suicide rates were obtained from the National Statistical Office of South Korea, and climatic data were obtained from the Korea Meteorological Administration for the period of 1992–2010. We conducted analyses using a generalized additive model (GAM). First, we explored the seasonality of suicide and climate variables such as mean temperature, daily temperature range, solar radiation, and relative humidity. Next, we identified confounding climate variables associated with suicide rate. To estimate the adjusted effect of solar radiation on the suicide rate, we investigated the confounding variables using a multivariable GAM. Results: Suicide rate showed seasonality with a pattern similar to that of solar radiation. We found that the suicide rate increased 1.008 times when solar radiation increased by 1 MJ/m2 after adjusting for other confounding climate factors (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Solar radiation has a significant linear relationship with suicide after adjusting for region, other climate variables, and time trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • climate factor
  • seasonality
  • solar radiation
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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