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Excess suicides and attempted suicides in Italy attributable to the great recession
  1. Roberto De Vogli1,2,
  2. Michael Marmot1,
  3. David Stuckler3,4
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Population Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
  3. 3Department of Sociology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
  4. 4London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roberto De Vogli, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK; r.devogli{at}

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In early May, widows of men who killed themselves began marching on tax offices in Bologna, Italy. Their protest? Austerity and tax collection put their husbands at risk. This is the first grassroots movement on mental health in Europe responding to what has been recently dubbed ‘suicide by economic crisis’.1

But not everyone agrees with these widows' interpretation of events. Although articles recently published in The Lancet 2 ,3 provided support for the hypothesis, some commentators have claimed that the suggestion that increases in suicides are linked to the recession is a ‘premature overinterpretation’.4 Are these recent suicide increases in Italy attributable to the financial crisis or just ‘normal statistical …

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  • Contributors RDV and DS performed the analyses of the study, wrote large parts of the manuscript and designed the study. MM revised the manuscript and contributed to change in the text in several parts.

  • Funding RDV is supported by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (RES-070-27-0034).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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