The effect of geomagnetic storms on suicide

  • Charmaine Gordon
  • Michael Berk

Abstract

Objectives: To correlate geomagnetic storm activity with suicide rates.
Design: A retrospective analysis over a 13 year period, Janaury 1980 to December 1992.
Setting: Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (data on geomagnetic storm activity), South African Central Statistical Services (data on suicide rates).
Subjects: Nil.
Outcome measures: Geomagnetic storm activity and suicide rates.
Results: A significant correlation (r= 0,6964 ; p< 0,01) was found between the mean total of suicides and the mean average of storm activity during the same period. This correlation was true of both male (r= 0,6301 ; p< 0,025) and female (r= 0,7544 ; p< 0,005) suicides.
Conclusions: Geomagnetic storm activity is correlated with suicide, and confirms previous research suggesting an impact of ambient magnetic field activity on behaviour.

S Afr Psychiatry Rev 2003;6:24-27

Author Biographies

Charmaine Gordon
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Science, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School
Michael Berk
Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Published
2013-11-03
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1994-8220