Study Established Link between Suicide and High Altitudes
People living at higher altitudes may have an increased risk of suicide, according to a new study published on March 20, 2018.
A team of scientists from the University of Utah revealed that people living at higher altitudes may have an increased risk of suicide. The team analyzed 12 previous studies in the U.S., which linked suicide or depression with altitude. They found that suicides were more prevalent in the intermountain places than others.
The study revealed that people residing in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming showed highest suicide rates in the U.S.
They found that suicides per 100,000 people were 17.7 at high-altitude locations, 11.9 at middle altitudes, and only 4.8 at low altitudes.
They also discovered that other factors such as increased poverty and lower income also played an important role in determining suicide. However, population living at higher altitudes had a lower risk of death from all causes combined.
Kious, lead of the study said, “The reason for the increase in suicide rates with altitude may be what’s known as chronic hypobaric hypoxia – low blood oxygen levels caused by low atmospheric pressure. The researchers believe that this could conceivably be addressed by using medication to either increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, or “to influence brain bioenergetics.”
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