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A Study of Suicides in Finland and Sweden

Data Analysis Project For Business Students

Essay 2012 8 Pages

Business economics - General

Excerpt

A Study of Suicides in Finland and Sweden

Introduction

Nordic countries have traditionally had fairly high suicide rates compared with other countries.

Finland and Sweden are ranked 15th and 31st respectively on a global ranking of suicide rates (WHO, 2011). Each Country’s Government and various health organisations are actively recording suicide data in order to help reduce suicides. In recent decades, several researchers have suggested a link between increasing daily dosages of antidepressants and the falling rates of suicide (Lester, 1971).

Research also shows that there could be a link between suicide rates and the lack of bright light in winter. Around 10% of northern Europeans are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the ‘winter blues’. SAD can make people feel more depressed in winter months or when sunlight hours are reduced.

This report analyses the distribution of suicides in both Finland and Sweden per month in order to judge the impacts of SAD, and will look at the link between suicides and antidepressant usage. Finland and Sweden have been chosen for this study as they have similar cultures, climate and lie on the same longitude meaning a more reliable comparison can be made.

Questions this report aims to answer, regarding Finland and Sweden:

1. Which month has the highest suicide rate in both Finland and Sweden and does this correlate to what we would expect based on hours of sunlight in the day?
2. How has the suicide rate changed over the years in response to changes in antidepressant use?
3. Is there a significant correlation between suicide rates and antidepressant dosage?

Methodology, Results and Analysis

1. Which month has the highest suicide rate in both Finland and Sweden and does this correlate to what we would expect based on hours of sunlight in the day?

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I compounded the following table about Finland and plotted the bar chart.

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As the data shows, May has the greatest relative risk of suicides with 1.15 successful suicides for every 1 attempted suicide. Furthermore, as average sunlight hours increases there seems to be a general increase in the relative suicide risk, against what some researchers may expect.

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Similarly for Sweden:

The data shows that the relative risk of suicide is highest in May, and that it seems as if the risk of suicide has a positive correlation to the pattern of average sunlight hours.

As Finland and Sweden are on the same longitude and share a similar culture, it would be useful to look at the relationship between sunlight hours and suicide rate in another country in the southern hemisphere, as this would show if indeed suicide correlated with average sunlight hours.

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The relationship between sunlight hours and suicide rate is less clear that Finland’s and Sweden’s, however the suicide rate in at the lowest in the spring (May/June), whereas the suicide rate in Finland and Sweden is at it’s highest (possibly due to in the opposite hemisphere)

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Details

Pages
8
Year
2012
ISBN (eBook)
9783656399209
File size
5.3 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v211543
Institution / College
King`s College London
Grade
1st
Tags
data analysis bba business administration report excel suicide sad seasonal disorder

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Title: A Study of Suicides in Finland and Sweden