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Open AccessArticle

Alcohol and the Risk of Railway Suicide

Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Warsaw, Banacha 1b Street, 02097 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Emergency Medical Services, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz College for Emergency Medical Services, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, 50368 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Aviation Security, Military University of Aviation, 08521 Dęblin, Poland
Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, College of Business, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33174, USA
Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical University of Lublin, 20081 Lublin, Poland
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, 41345 Gothenburg, Sweden
Department of Development and Research, Armed Forces Center for Defense Medicine, Västra Frölunda, 42676 Gothenburg, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7003;
Received: 9 July 2020 / Revised: 21 September 2020 / Accepted: 23 September 2020 / Published: 24 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Suicide is one of the ten most common causes of death in the world. Of all deaths from suicide, 22% can be attributed to the use of alcohol, which means that every fifth suicide would not occur if alcohol were not consumed by the population. People under the influence of alcohol choose more radical and effective methods of dying by suicide, e.g., throwing themselves under a moving vehicle, such as a train. The presented analysis aimed to determine important risk factors affecting railway suicide in Poland and their relation to the state of alcohol intoxication of the victims, and the relationship between ethyl alcohol consumption and the phenomenon of suicide. Documentation obtained from the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw, in the form of death registers and forensic medical records concerning examination and autopsy, was analyzed. This made it possible to identify suicide victims from among pedestrian victims of railway accidents recorded during the period under study. The research was carried out using unidimensional and multidimensional statistical analyses with IBM SPSS Statistics, version 25. Sober suicide victims were statistically significantly older than victims under the influence of alcohol; alcohol concentration was correlated with the age of the victims—the older the victims were, the higher the alcohol concentration. A significantly higher number of deaths attributed to suicide by sober victims was observed in autumn compared to other seasons. Multidimensional analysis showed a statistically significant effect of age and season on the probability of dying by suicide under the influence of alcohol—this probability decreases with the age of the victims and is also significantly lower in autumn. The observed relationship between age and the presence of alcohol in suicide victims can be the cause of railway suicides. Knowledge of the mechanisms of seasonal variability of suicidal behavior can help to develop effective strategies to prevent railway suicides. It is necessary to improve the system of reporting railway suicides, as only reliable statistics provide the possibility of assessing both the scale of the problem and the effectiveness of actions taken. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; ethanol; suicide; railway suicide; railway accidents alcohol; ethanol; suicide; railway suicide; railway accidents
MDPI and ACS Style

Lasota, D.; Al-Wathinani, A.; Krajewski, P.; Mirowska-Guzel, D.; Goniewicz, K.; Hertelendy, A.J.; Alhazmi, R.A.; Pawłowski, W.; Khorram-Manesh, A.; Goniewicz, M. Alcohol and the Risk of Railway Suicide. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7003.

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