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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Dec;157(12):2048-50.

Attempted suicide and alcoholism in bipolar disorder: clinical and familial relationships.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. jpotash@jhmi.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined the clinical and familial relationships between comorbid alcoholism and attempted suicide in affectively ill relatives of probands with bipolar I disorder.

METHOD:

In 71 families ascertained for a genetic linkage study, 337 subjects with major affective disorder were assessed by using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime Version.

RESULTS:

Subjects with bipolar disorder and alcoholism had a 38.4% lifetime rate of attempted suicide, whereas those without alcoholism had a 21.7% rate. Attempted suicide among subjects with bipolar disorder and alcoholism clustered in a subset of seven families. Families with alcoholic and suicidal probands had a 40.7% rate of attempted suicide in first-degree relatives with bipolar disorder, whereas other families had a 19.0% rate.

CONCLUSIONS:

Comorbid alcoholism was associated with a higher rate of attempted suicide among family members with bipolar disorder. Attempted suicide and alcoholism clustered in a subset of families. These relationships may have a genetic origin and may be mediated by intoxication, mixed states, and/or temperamental instability.

PMID:
11097977
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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