Hospitalization for suicide attempts or thoughts swells in the fall and spring and drops off during the summer months - with twice as much activity in October than July - even though adults are more likely to take their own lives in the warmer months. Girls made up the majority of these encounters (64.4%), the authors said.
Data from the Pediatric Health Information System allowed the researchers to use billing codes to determine the differences between emergency department encounters, observation stays, and inpatient hospitalizations related to suicide.
Plemmons said the show presented a crossroads for many, but added that his study's data can not be ignored, particularly as suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States.
Gregory Plemmons, the lead author of the study and a researcher as well as paediatrician at the Nashvilles' Vanderbilt University said that the result of the study confirmed what all he had been seeing at the hospitals. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
More than half were hospitalized, and more than 13 percent needed intensive care. While increments were seen overall age gatherings, they were most noteworthy among adolescents ages 15-17, trailed by ages 12-14.
While both boys and girls experienced significant increases in suicide ideation and suicide attempts, the increase was higher for girls compared with boys (0.14 percentage point increase versus 0.10 percentage points, respectively, P 0.001). Seasonal variation was also seen consistently across the period, with October accounting for almost twice as many encounters as reported in July.
Rates were lowest in summer, a season which has historically seen the highest numbers in adults, suggesting that youth may face increased stress and mental health challenges when school is in session.
Characterizing this as "the most striking variation" of the study, they cited only one other study that found "a correlation between the risk of [suicide ideation and suicide attempts] among children and adolescents during the academic school year".
Study limitations included potential misclassification of non-suicidal self-harm encounters as suicide ideation or suicide attempts.