Body's daily rhythms set a peak time for suicide
Friday 23 September 1994
The findings could improve drug treatment for depression by tailoring the amount of drug to high-risk periods for suicide. Heart rate, temperature and secretion of steroids, hormones and brain chemicals change through the day. In people with depression and anxiety, there are variations from the norm which may trigger a suicide attempt.
Scientists from the Ferrara Medical School studied 212 patients admitted to hospital after self-poisoning attempts. They found a significant daily rhythm. For the general population the peak time was 5.45pm; for men 6.37pm and for women, 5.16pm.
Previous studies have shown that the risk of suicide is greatest in the early morning and early afternoon. Writing in tomorrow's British Medical Journal, the scientists say: 'As suicide and attempted suicide have different psychological causes and epidemiological risk factors, these data support the hypothesis that chronobiologically determined changes influence suicidal behaviour.'
Increased activity of the adrenal glands in early afternoon, and a decrease in the production of serotonin, a mood-influencing brain chemical, were important factors.
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...