Original Research

Temporal variation in suicide in peri-urban Pretoria

Eric D. Onoya, Nokukhanya L. Makwakwa, David P. Motloba
South African Family Practice | Vol 63, No 1 : Part 2| a5260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v63i1.5260 | © 2021 Eric D. Onoya, Nokukhanya L. Makwakwa, David P. Motloba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 November 2020 | Published: 11 May 2021

About the author(s)

Eric D. Onoya, Department of Forensic Pathology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Nokukhanya L. Makwakwa, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
David P. Motloba, Department of Community Dentistry, School of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Suicide is a public health problem, and the third major cause of death in Indian, black and mixed race groups. In whites suicide is the second cause of death. The patterns of suicide vary by time of day, day of the week, month of the year and seasons. As a result of limited and inaccurate data, these variations have not been fully examined in the developing world. This study investigated the diurnality and seasonality of suicide in peri-urban Pretoria, as opposed to studies conducted previously in the country’s metropolitan.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of suicides recorded between 2007 and 2019 was undertaken. Data were extracted from the forensic pathology department’s database (university mortuary).

Results: Of the 1515 cases of suicides examined, majority were black Africans (95.9%), male (83.9%), aged 21–40 years (50.5%). Hanging was the most common method of suicide irrespective of demographics (72.8%). Diurnal suicide variations were distinct for men and women, occurring at (16:00–20:00) and (08:00–12:00), respectively. Suicide peaked on days preceding and after the weekend (Mondays and Fridays) and in warmer seasons (summer and spring)

Conclusion: The overall patterns of suicide in peri-urban Pretoria, mimic local and global trends with regard to methods, demographics and temporal characteristics. The underlying mechanism for these trends is unclear requiring in-depth investigation in order to develop appropriate interventions.


Keywords

suicide, seasonality, diurnality; temporal variation, peri-urban, Pretoria

Metrics

Total abstract views: 257
Total article views: 200


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.