[Skip to Navigation]
Letters to the Editor
March 1999

The Kobe Earthquake and Reduced Suicide Rate in Japanese Males

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56(3):282-283. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.56.3.282

Suicide ranks among the top 10 causes of death for individuals of all ages in most countries.1 It is also among the 2 or 3 leading causes of death for those aged 15 to 34 years.1 In the United States, suicide accounts for over 30,000 deaths annually.2 In Japan, there are more than 20,000 suicides a year, twice as many as the number of traffic fatalities.3 Although suicide is not a logical response to extreme stress, typical stressors associated with suicide acts include adverse events in one's life.4 Suicide victims have often encountered more changes in terms of living conditions, work problems, and humiliating experiences than most of the population.5 For example, bereavement involving a close interpersonal relationship in the few years preceding suicide has been more common among suicide victims than among the general population.6

Add or change institution