Pollen Counts and Suicide Rates. Association Not Replicated.
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Type of Work7 pages
Citation of Original PublicationWoo, J. M., Gibbons, R. D., Rogers, C. A., Qin, P., Kim, J. B., Roberts, D. W., & ... Postolache, T. T. (2012). Pollen counts and suicide rates. Association not replicated. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 125(2), 168-175. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01813.x
Objective: To replicate a previously reported association between pollen counts and county suicide rates in the continental United States, across space and time. Method: The authors evaluated the relationship between airborne pollen counts and suicide rates in 42 counties of the continental United States, containing a pollen-counting station participating in the Aeroallergen Monitoring Network in the United States (N = 120,076 suicides), considering years' quarter, age group, sex, race, rural/urban location, number of local psychiatrists, and median household income, from 1999 to 2002. The county-level effects were broken into between-county and within-county. Results: No within-county effects were found. Between-county effects for grass and ragweed pollen on suicide rates lost statistical significance after adjustment for median income, number of psychiatrists, and urban vs. rural location. Conclusion: Future research is necessary to reappraise the previously reported relationship between pollen levels and suicide rates that may have been driven by socioeconomic confounders.