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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Apr;200(4):305-9. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31824cb29b.

Not only body weight perception but also body mass index is relevant to suicidal ideation and self-harming behavior in Japanese adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan.


Whether a low body mass index (BMI) is directly associated with a high risk of suicidal ideation or self-harming behavior in adolescents is still inconclusive. This study has, therefore, evaluated the relevance of BMI to suicidal ideation and self-harming behavior after controlling for body weight perception (BWP) and other potential confounding factors. BMI, BWP, suicidal ideation, and self-harming behavior were all assessed using a self-report questionnaire administered to 18,104 Japanese adolescents. Potential confounding factors were also evaluated. The data were then analyzed using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Low BMI was associated with suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harm when controlling for sex, age, drug use, emotional distress, and BWP. Low BMI may be an independent risk factor for suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harming behavior in Japanese adolescents.

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