Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Encephale. 1991 Jan-Feb;17(1):33-6.

[The link between suicide and depression. Epidemiologic aspects].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Service de Psychiatrie, Hôpital Saint-Jacques, Besançon.


Reviewing the literature, the authors offer a synthesis about the relations between depression and its possibly lethal outcome. The first approach of the topic is descriptive and deals with the quantification of the relations between depression and suicide. A double aspect can be distinguished. The first aspects considers depression as a cause of suicide. Using literature data, one can estimate that 60 to 70% of the subjects attempting suicide were suffering of mood disorders. Such figures are suggested by the studies offering the best methodological characteristics. The second aspect deals with the risk of suicide for depressed patients. The average annual risk is about 3/1000. Actually such a risk is mainly concentrated in the periods of active depression. Two others indices may be proposed to quantify the risk of suicide for depressed patients: the lifetime risk, which is about 15%, and the relative risk as compared with the general population not suffering from depressive disorders, which is about 30. The second approach of the topic is analytic and concerns the risk factors of suicide among depressed patients. Five groups of factors can be considered: The sociodemographic factors: depressed men are more at risk than depressed women. It is the case too for people living alone or having suffered of affective isolation during their childhood or their adolescence. Age does not seem to play a role. The nosographic factors: neither the bipolar--unipolar subtypes distinction nor the endogenous--non endogenous subtypes distinction contribute to the determination of a risk factor. Similarly, the recurrent--non recurrent subtypes distinction is not helpful.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk