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Long Term PM2.5 exposure and Violent Suicide

Semester: Summer 2023

Presentation description

Utah has had a consistently higher suicide rate than the national average. There are many risk factors to an individual's suicide risk including personal, relationship, community, and societal risk factors (CDC). Recent studies have examined the potential link of environmental pollutant exposures. Previous research has also examined the role of air pollution in suicide. Utah is a state known for its poor air quality due to its geography, its largely urban population, and its industry. One of the primary pollutants of concern is PM2.5 due to its ability to bypass filtration in the lungs. This study seeks to examine the gap in the current literature surrounding how PM2.5affects the incidence ratio of violent to nonviolent suicide. In other words, we seek to investigate how monthly exposures to PM2.5 might contribute to a higher rate violent suicides as compared to non-violent suicides. Previous studies have found a correlation with non-violent methods and low PM2.5 (Miyazaki et al.). We collected suicide data recorded by the office of the medical examiner in Utah from 2013 to 2019. We collected PM2.5 concentrations from the Environmental Protection Agency's Downscaler Model and aggregated the data to monthly concentrations for each County in Utah. We found no statistically significant correlation between violent suicide and PM2.5. There was also no statistically significant correlation between PM2.5 and the ratio of violent to non-violent suicide. There were significant limitations in the study design due to low numbers of suicides in large portions of Utah and the aggregation of PM2.5 data over large geographies. We recommend that future studies be done at finer spatial and temporal scales.

Presenter Name: Andrew Clothier
Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #5
College: Medicine
School / Department: Psychiatry
Research Mentor: Amanda Bakian
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM