The 30-page study, titled ‘The Impact of Fiscal Austerity on Suicide: On the Empirics of a Modern Greek Tragedy’ and published in the Social Science and Medicine journal was authored by Nikolaos Antonakakis and Alan Collins from Portsmouth University.
“Suicide rates in Greece (and other European countries) have been on a remarkable upward trend following the global recession of 2008 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2009,” states the study’s abstract.
Each 1 percent decrease in government spending resulted in a 0.43 percent rise in suicides among men, according to the study. Between 2009 and 2010, there were 551 deaths which occurred “solely because of fiscal austerity,” it stated.
The study identified some gender and age trends, finding that men in the 45-89 age bracket suffer the largest risk because of salary and pension cuts. There was no obvious rise in suicide rates among females.
“The fact we find gender specificity and age specificity can help health agencies target their help,” said Antonakakis.