In Chile, quarantine had a significant beneficial effect on suicide deaths during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings were published in Social Science & Medicine.
Investigators with the Míllennium Nucleus in Social Development in Chile sourced administrative data from the Chilean Ministry of Health. Causes of death and hospital discharges from 2016 to 2020 were evaluated for suicides. Changes in the rate of suicide deaths and hospitalizations for suicide attempt during the COVID-19 quarantine were evaluated using a difference-in-differences (DiD) approach.
This study included data on 9026 suicides. The decedents were a mean age of 43.7 years and 82.57% were men.
The average suicide rate was 10.01/100,000 between 2016 and 2019. In 2020, there was a 19.3% reduction in suicides per 100,000. Stratified by county, there were 0.4489 suicides monthly between 2016 and 2019, dropping to 0.3784 in 2020.
During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile (March–December 2020) there was a decrease in the number of suicides and a slight decrease in hospitalization due to suicide attempts.
Restricting the analysis from March to December, which corresponded with the quarantine in Chile, suicide deaths decreased by 20.8% in 2020 compared with 2019. In counties that never quarantined, the suicide rate decreased by 17.5%.Rela …