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Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;163(6):1100-2.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated essential fatty acid status as a predictor of future suicide risk.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neuroscience, NY State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, Unit 42, 1051 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Low levels of docosahexaenoic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, and elevated ratios of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids are associated with major depression and, possibly, suicidal behavior. Predicting risk of future suicidal behaviors by essential fatty acid status merits examination.

METHOD:

Plasma polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in phospholipids were measured in 33 medication-free depressed subjects monitored for suicide attempt over a 2-year period. Survival analysis examined the association of plasma polyunsaturated fatty acid status and pathological outcome.

RESULTS:

Seven subjects attempted suicide on follow-up. A lower docosahexaenoic acid percentage of total plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and a higher omega-6/omega-3 ratio predicted suicide attempt.

CONCLUSIONS:

A low docosahexaenoic acid percentage and low omega-3 proportions of lipid profile predicted risk of suicidal behavior among depressed patients over the 2-year period. If confirmed, this finding would have implications for the neurobiology of suicide and reduction of suicide risk.

PMID:
16741213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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