Relationships of local lithium concentrations in drinking water to regional suicide rates in Italy

Maurizio Pompili, Monica Vichi, Enrico Dinelli, Roger Pycha, Paolo Valera, Stefano Albanese, Annamaria Lima, Benedetto De Vivo, Domenico Cicchella, Andrea Fiorillo, Mario Amore, Paolo Girardi (+1 others)
2016 Figshare  
Objectives. Higher natural concentrations of lithium in drinking water may be associated with lower local rates of suicide. Methods. Lithium concentrations in drinking water were assayed by mass spectrometry at 145 sites in Italy, and compared with reported local suicide rates for men and women between 1980 and 2011. Results. Lithium concentrations in drinking water averaged 5.28 [CI: 4.08–6.48] μg/L (0.761 [0.588–0.934] μEq/L) and ranged from 0.110 to 60.8 μg/L (1.58 to 8.76 μEq/L). Lithium
more » ... μEq/L). Lithium concentrations and local suicide rates were not significantly inversely related, except in 1980–1989, particularly among women. Conclusions. A proposed association between trace lithium concentrations in drinking water and risk of suicide was only partially supported, and mechanisms for potential clinical effects of trace levels of lithium are unknown.
doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.4296458 fatcat:iiqq3dmaergmfds56rumw7jl5i