Why hotter weather could mean a rise in suicide deaths in China as the reality of climate change emerges

China should take measures to reduce the potential impact of hot weather on suicide rates and protect people’s mental health Global temperatures Continue to rise, according to researchers.
Measures can include early intervention, education, social support and long-term meteorological and climate warnings Coping strategiesThe researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai said.
These suggestions come in the wake of a study conducted by academics on the relationship between rising temperatures and… Suicide rates In China. The results showed that higher temperatures are associated with an increased risk of death.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post in early September, Chen Renjie, co-author of the study and a professor at Fudan University, said the measures should be part of a collaborative effort between the health sector, government and other social organizations. .

“We need to take comprehensive measures, focusing on… Psychological health …and enhancing cooperation in various fields to reduce negative impacts Climate change “On people’s mental health,” Chen said.

“This is necessary to ensure the health and well-being of (people).”


July 2023 is expected to be the world’s hottest month in recorded history

July 2023 is expected to be the world’s hottest month in recorded history

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Psychiatry in March and was conducted by researchers from Fudan University and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors used data from 432,008 suicide deaths that occurred between 2013 and 2019 across mainland China, with information collected from the China Cause of Death Reporting System, the most representative national death registry in China.

They also obtained meteorological data from a global climate reanalysis product – the European Center for Reanalysis of Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA5) – and found Direct link Between daily temperatures and the relative risk of suicide deaths.

They then used climate projections from global climate models and predicted temperature-related suicides out to 2099.

The researchers found that more than 65,000 suicide deaths in China between 2013 and 2019 were linked to a “suboptimal temperature,” that is, a temperature above the theoretical minimum exposure level of risk. This represents 15 percent of all suicide deaths during that time period.

Suicide numbers among Hong Kong youth have nearly doubled in less than 10 years

The authors expected that climate warming would lead to an additional 24,000 suicides in China in the 1990s under the high emissions scenario, compared to the historical period between 1980 and 2009.

Nationally, compared to the historical period, excess suicides would increase by 11.4 percent in the 1950s and 21.7 percent in the 1990s under the high emissions scenario, the study said.

Moreover, the authors found that the elderly People with lower levels of education were at greater risk of heat-related suicide, and percentage increases in the number of deaths from suicide would be higher in southern China and in winter.

“We expected excess suicides to increase with climate warming, which is characterized by a steady and dramatic increase over this century under the high emissions scenario,” the researchers wrote in the study.

The authors did not mention how high temperatures might increase the level of suicide risk.

Gao Ya, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Fudan University, said the percentage increases in deaths from suicide would be high in winter because the baseline was low and people tend to be more sensitive to unusually high temperatures in winter. Also, climate warming may be more evident in winter than in other seasons.


Why are heat waves and flash floods sweeping the Northern Hemisphere?

Why are heat waves and flash floods sweeping the Northern Hemisphere?

The study is consistent with previous studies in other countries. In a 2018 study in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from the United States, Canada and Chile found that rising temperatures through 2050 could lead to an additional 21,000 deaths by suicide in the United States and Mexico.

In the Chinese study, the authors noted that the relative risk of suicide deaths was strongest today, suggesting the importance of early intervention and control measures during heat waves and periods of hot weather. The temperature rises quickly.

“The study highlights the potential threat to people’s mental health caused by climate change, and provides essential information for developing adaptation strategies,” Gao said.

“It also indicates that we need to include mental health in climate change adaptation strategies. Governments, the health sector and social organizations should provide more support, including mental health services, to help vulnerable populations adapt to climate change.”

If you have suicidal thoughts or know someone who does, help is available. In Hong Kong, call +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. For a list of helplines for other countries, See this page.

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