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Bipolar Disord. 2003 Feb;5(1):58-61.

Suicide risk in bipolar patients: the role of co-morbid substance use disorders.

Author information

  • 1Neurogenetics Section, Center for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronoto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Bipolar disorder is associated with a high frequency of both completed suicides and suicide attempts. The primary aim of this study was to identify clinical predictors of suicide attempts in subjects with bipolar disorder.

METHODS:

We studied 336 subjects with a diagnosis of bipolar I, bipolar II, or schizoaffective disorder (bipolar type). The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) was administered and subsequently two expert psychiatrists established a diagnosis. Predictors of suicide attempts were examined in attempters and non-attempters.

RESULTS:

The lifetime rate of suicide attempts for the entire sample was 25.6%. A lifetime co-morbid substance use disorder was a significant predictor of suicide attempts: bipolar subjects with co-morbid substance use disorders (SUD) had a 39.5% lifetime rate of attempted suicide, while those without had a 23.8% rate (odds ratio = 2.09, 95% CI = 1.03-4.21, chi2 = 4.33, df = 1, p = 0.037).

CONCLUSIONS:

Lifetime co-morbid SUD were associated with a higher rate of suicide attempts in patients with bipolar disorder. This relationship may have a genetic origin and/or be explained by severity of illness and trait impulsivity.

PMID:
12656940
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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