The Association Between the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Suicides in Norway
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The 1918 influenza pandemic impacted several areas of society, including increased mortality, as well as several other detrimental health impacts. It is well established that suicides and life-threatening behaviours are associated with the changes in levels of social integration that occur during pandemics. However, there is an absence of research exploring these associations between the 1918 influenza pandemic and suicides in Norway during the years 1910-1920. To test this association, panel data for suicides, population size and numbers of doctors between 1910 and 1920 were analysed using Pooled OLS, Fixed effects (within estimator), Between effects, Time fixed effects, Random effects, and Time-series cross-section methods (TSCS). The results showed an association between influenza cases and deaths with total numbers of suicides and male suicides during these years. Results also determined that larger population size predicted a higher number of suicides for total suicides and male suicides, even when clustered by county. Finally, results rejected any association between numbers of doctors and suicides, even when controlled by population size. Throughout all models, female suicides did not present a significant association with the 1918 influenza pandemic. On this basis, the influence of social integration must be considered when exploring suicides with future pandemic research. Keywords: Suicide, Influenza, Pandemic, 1918, Norway, Social Integration.