In a new study, Fiocruz researchers analyzed the number of suicides in Brazil during the first wave of covid-19 in 2020. Official mortality data released by the Ministry of Health were used for this. The article highlights the significant growth in the northern and northeastern regions and was approved for publication in International Journal of Social Psychiatry.
According to the researchers, a surplus of suicides was found in men over the age of 60 and women aged 30 to 59 in the north. The pattern was also observed in women 60 years of age and older in the Northeast.
The article points out that despite the general decline in suicides in Brazil (13%) over the period under review, suicide rates in the northern and northeastern parts of the country were remarkably high in different age groups and genders. the authors describe it as a “global public health problem” and the leading cause of premature death in Latin America.
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Researchers behind the study point out that suicide rates have been linked to biological factors (such as gender or age), social factors, and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to them, this type of issue should be raised in suicide studies, especially in developing countries with high regional and economic inequalities.
The results of the study address the need to understand the current health crisis more broadly or as a phenomenon resulting from the interaction between covid-19 and other existing health challenges, in addition to the even stronger indirect effects of suicide. because the rate of covid-19 deaths was even more severe at the time.
The researchers’ idea is that research can contribute to the design of interventions to mitigate the effects of a pandemic and improve information systems related to mortality in vulnerable areas.
Previous studies have made clear the potential impact of a pandemic on the mental health of the population, as many activities, particularly interpersonal activities, had to be stopped and experts have questioned how life will be mental once the pandemic is over since the beginning of the covid-19 battle.
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