Timing of completed suicides among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1951–1985

L. A. Panser, D. E. McAlpine, S. L. Wallrichs, D. W. Swanson, W. M. O'Fallon, L. J. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Previous studies of suicide timing may have been biased by incomplete ascertainment of suicides and by delays between the suicidal act and subsequent death. Those potential biases were assessed and minimized in this population‐based study by using the unique resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Using these more accurate data, we confirmed previous reports of no excess suicides on birthdays (± 3 days), or during 3 United States national holidays. While most prior reports found excess post‐holiday suicides and suicide peaks on Mondays, those findings were not observed in Olmsted County. Because 93% of deaths occurred on the date of the suicidal act, using date of death instead of the actual date of suicide is sufficient for most research purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • epidemiology
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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