File(s) under permanent embargo
The effect of geomagnetic storms on suicide
journal contributionposted on 2003-08-01, 00:00 authored by C Gordon, Michael BerkMichael Berk
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 behavior.