Invited commentary: Assessment of air pollution and suicide risk

Yuming Guo, Adrian G. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Suicide is a serious public health issue worldwide, with multiple risk factors, such as severe mental illness, alcohol abuse, a painful loss, exposure to violence, or social isolation. Environmental factors, particularly chemical and meteorological variables, have been examined as risk factors for suicide, but less evidence is available on whether air pollution is related to suicide. In this issue of the Journal, Bakian et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2015;181(5):295-303) publish findings from a study that found a short-term increased risk of suicide associated with increased air pollution. This study bolsters a small body of research linking air pollution exposure to suicide risk. If the association between air pollution and suicide is confirmed, it would broaden the scope of the already large disease burden associated with air pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • air pollution
  • case-crossover studies
  • confounding
  • exposure measurement
  • measurement error
  • selection bias
  • suicide

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