June 5, 2019 – Spring Suicide


Anchor lead: Spring is the season for suicides, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Suicides in the US have risen by 30% in the last 15 years, the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal. Adam Kaplin, a psychiatrist and mood disorders expert at Johns Hopkins, says spring is the time when we really need to pay attention.

Kaplin: We’ve known forever that April, May, June, the spring is when the rates go up, they double in many places. And once they hit that peak they sort of go down to the lowest level is in December. There’s a growing appreciation of the role of inflammation, and what really gets going in the springtime are allergic rhinitis which causes a systemic inflammation. Inflammation we know brings people’s moods down, we know its associated with increased chances of suicide attempts and suicide.  :33

Kaplin says newer generations of antihistamines people take to combat allergies don’t reduce inflammation in the brain so aren’t likely to help. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.