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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 0717-9227


RODRIGUEZ R, Jorge; SANTANDER T, Jaime; AEDO S, Alberto  and  ROBERT B, Sebastián. Suicide worldwide: can the evolutionary perspective explain the relationship between suicide rates and quality of life variables?. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2014, vol.52, n.4, pp.241-242. ISSN 0717-9227.

Introduction: Suicide is a complex phenomenon and seems to be paradoxical from an evolutionary standpoint, considering the multiple associated risk factors and the differences in suicide rates among countries. Suicide risks are usually attributed to economic hardship and low quality of life. However, some studies have shown an inverse relationship. Objective: To compare suicide rates reported for different countries to date with economic and quality of life indicators. Method: Suicide rates reported for 82 countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) were correlated with 2008 purchasing power parities (PPPs) and human development indexes (HDIs) published by the World Bank and the United Nations, respectively. Results: A positive correlation was observed between suicide rates, PPPs and HDIs (r = 0.3601 and r = 0.366, respectively p < 0.01). Conclusions: The positive correlation observed (i.e., suicide rates increased with economic and quality of life indicators) seem to be contradictory on the surface. We propose that interpreting these data from an evolutionary perspective could contribute to a deeper understanding of this phenomenon. Nevertheless, there are a myriad of factors that could be contributing to these results, thus further research is needed to understand suicide at a global scale.

Keywords : Suicide; Economic Development; Biological Evolution; Quality of Life.

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