Table 1Summary of risk factors and associations with suicide attempts and suicides

Evidence for Suicide AttemptEvidence for Suicide
Demographic factors
 Male gender(+) llgen 200927
(+) llgen 201029
(+) Zivin 200741
(NS) Seyfried 201135
 Age(-) Tiet 200637 (older age protective)(+) Zivin 2007 (18-44 years)41
(NS) Seyfried 201135
 White race(+) llgen 2009 (African American race protective)27
(+) llgen 201029
(+) Kaplan 200730
(+) Zivin 200741
(+) Seyfried 201135
 Marital status(+) Thomsen 201136
(NS) Tiet 200637
(NS) Seyfried 201135
 Education(NS) Thomsen 201136(+) Kaplan 200730
 Smoking(+) Ilgen 201029
Psychiatric factors
 Psychiatric Conditions(+) Ilgen 2007 (composite variable)28
(+) Tiet 2006 (psychotic disorder, personality disorder)37
(+) Ilgen 2010 (men and women)25
(+) Ilgen 2010 (personality disorder and presence of more than 1 psychiatric diagnosis)26
(NS) Kaplan 2007 (number of chronic psychiatric conditions)30
 PTSD(+) Belik 201019
(+) Brenner 201121
(+) Ilgen 2010 (men and women)25
(+) llgen 201026
(-) PTSD was protective in Zivin 200741
(-) PTSD was protective in Pfeiffer 200932
(NS) Seyfried 201135
 Depression(+) Hartl 200514
(+) Belik 201019
(+) Tiet 200637
(+) llgen 201025
(+) llgen 201026
(+) llgen 201029
(NS) Pfeiffer 200932
(+) Seyfried 201135
 Bipolar Disorder(+) Ilgen 2010 (men and women)25
(+) Pettit 2006 (very early onset bipolar disorder)42
(+) llgen 201026
(+) llgen 201029
 Anxiety(+) Tiet 200637(+) llgen 2010(men and women)25
(+) llgen 201026
(+) llgen 201029
(+/NS) Pfeiffer 2009 (some but not all anxiety conditions)32
(NS) Seyfried 2011 (but having an anxiolytic prescription was associated with suicide)35
 Schizophrenia(+) llgen 2010 (men and women)25
(+) llgen 201026
(+) llgen 201029
(NS) Seyfried 201135
 Prior suicide attempt(+) Hartl 200514
(+) Thomsen 201136
 Social phobia(+) Belik 201019
 Alcohol abuse(+) Ilgen 200728
(+) Belik 201019
(NS) Tiet 200637
(+) llgen 2010 (men and women)25
 Substance abuse(+) Ilgen 2007 (cocaine)28
(NS) Tiet 200637 (drug abuse or dependence)
(+) llgen 2010 (men and women)25
(+) Zivin 200741
 History of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization(+) Seyfried 201135
(+) Zivin 2007 (within last 12 months)41
 Negative life events(+) Pettit 2006 (among those with very early onset MDD, very early onset anxiety and no history of very early onset psychopathology)42
Trauma and military factors
 Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)(NS) Brenner 201121(+) Brenner 201122
 Witnessing man-made disaster(+) Belik 2009 (women only)18
 Being a victim of child abuse or other abuse(+) Belik 2009 (women only)18
(+) Cox 2011 (sexual abuse and other trauma)23
 Witnessing domestic violence(+) Belik 2009 (women only)18
(+) Cox 2011 (as a child)23
 Being stalked(+) Belik 200918
 Being mugged, being kidnapped(+) Belik 2009 (men only)18
 Having purposely injured or killed(+) Belik 2009 (men only)18
 Toxic chemical exposure(+) Belik 2009 (men only)18
 Life-threatening illness(+) Belik 2009 (men only)18
 Sexual abuse(+) Tiet 2006 (past 30 days or lifetime)37
(+) Cox (childhood)
(+) Belik 2009 (sexual assault or rape)18
 Physical abuse in past 30 days(+) Tiet 2006 (physical abuse in past 30 days)37
(NS) Tiet 2006 (lifetime physical abuse)37
 Combat deployment(NS) Thomsen 201136
 Traumatic event happened to another(+) Belik 200918
 Other trauma(+) Belik 2009 (men only)18
 Being a civilian in a place where there was ongoing terror of civilians for political, ethnic, religious or other reasons)(+) Belik 200918
 Non-service connected status for Veterans(+) Zivin 200741
 VA association (vs non-VA associated Veterans)(NS) Kaplan 2007 (all Veterans had higher risk of suicide regardless of VA affiliation)30
Other
 Diabetes(+) Ilgen 201029
 Cerebrovascular disease(+) Ilgen 201029
 Lower mental health functioning (MCS-12 score)(+) Ilgen 201029
 Admission to nursing home(-) protective in Seyfried 201135
 Severe pain(+) Ilgen 201029
 Activity limitations(+) Kaplan 200730

(+) positively associated with increase in suicide outcome (i.e., risk factor)

(-) negatively associated with increase in suicide outcomes (i.e., protective factor)

(NS) evaluated and found not to be significantly associated with the suicide outcome

From: RESULTS

Cover of Suicide Risk Factors and Risk Assessment Tools: A Systematic Review
Suicide Risk Factors and Risk Assessment Tools: A Systematic Review [Internet].
Haney EM, O'Neil ME, Carson S, et al.
Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; 2012 Mar.

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