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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Feb 1;33(1):109-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.10.017. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Differences in cholesterol and metabolic syndrome between bipolar disorder men with and without suicide attempts.

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  • 1University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Department of Psychiatry, Zagreb, Croatia.


Patient with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components compared to general population. Among psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder ranks highest in suicidality with a relative risk ratio of completed suicide of about 25 compared to the general population. Regarding the biological hypotheses of suicidality, low blood cholesterol level has been extensively explored, although results are still conflicting. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there were differences in the serum cholesterol levels in hospitalized bipolar disorder men patients with history of suicide attempts (N=20) and without suicide attempts (N=20). Additionally, we investigated if there were differences in the prevalence of MetS according to NCEP ATP-III criteria in these two groups of patients. Results of the study indicated significantly lower serum cholesterol levels (p=0.013) and triglyceride levels (p=0.047), in the bipolar disorder men with suicide attempts in comparison to bipolar disorder men without suicide attempts. The overall prevalence of MetS was 11/40 (27.5%). On this particular sample it was higher in the non-attempters 8/20 (40.0%) than in attempters 3/20 (15.0%) bipolar men group, but without statistical significance. Lower concentrations of serum cholesterol might be useful biological markers of suicidality in men with bipolar disorder.

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