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Nord J Psychiatry. 2010;64(1):68-72. doi: 10.3109/08039480903274431.

Attempted suicide predicts suicide risk in schizophrenia spectrum psychosis.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden. andreas.carlborg@sll.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

People with schizophrenia have an increased risk of suicide and attempted suicide is suggested to be an important risk factor.

AIM:

Our objective was to assess the cumulative survival, predictive values and odds ratios of attempted suicide for suicide in a long-term cohort of patients with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis with and without previous attempted suicide.

METHOD:

Inpatients (n=224) hospitalized with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis were followed for a mean of 25 years. All patients were followed up for causes of death. Information on suicide attempt before the end of the observation period was retrieved from medical records.

RESULTS:

Eight percent died by suicide during the follow-up. Eighteen percent of suicide attempters died by suicide. Two percent of non-attempters died by suicide. There was a strong association between previous suicide attempt and suicide in men and women. Odds ratio for attempters vs. non-attempters was 10. Suicide risk was almost three times higher in male than female suicide attempters.

CONCLUSION:

Previous attempted suicide is an important risk factor for suicide in both men and women with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis, particularly in male suicide attempters. The suicide risk remains high over a long period. Continuous assessment of risk factors and appropriate treatment are crucial for this patient group to prevent suicide.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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