The influence of a major disaster on suicide risk in the population

Briana Mezuk, Gregory Luke Larkin, Marta R. Prescott, Melissa Tracy, David Vlahov, Kenneth Tardiff, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The authors investigated the relationship between the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and suicide risk in New York City from 1990 to 2006. The average monthly suicide rate over the study period was 0.56 per 100, 000 people. The monthly rate after September 2001 was 0.11 per 100, 000 people lower as compared to the rate in the period before. However, the rate of change in suicide was not significantly different before and after the disaster, and regression discontinuity analysis indicated no change at this date. There was no net change in the suiciderate in New York City attributable to this disaster, suggesting that factors other than exposure to traumatic events (e.g., cultural norms, availability of lethal methods) may be key drivers of suicide risk in this context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of traumatic stress
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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