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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Feb;105(2):141-8.

Low serum cholesterol is correlated to suicidality in a Korean sample.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Ansan City, Kyunggi province.



The aim of this study was to examine further the association between low total serum cholesterol and suicidal behaviour.


We measured the serum cholesterol levels in 231 patients admitted to an emergency room following a suicide attempt, in 231 age-,sex- and diagnosis-matched non-suicidal psychiatric controls, and in 231 age- and sex-matched normal controls. The suicide attempt patients were divided into five grades according to the degree of injury.


The mean total cholesterol level of the suicide attempt patients was significantly lower than that of the psychiatric and normal controls. When the suicide attempt patients and non-suicidal psychiatric controls were divided by diagnosis, this significant relationship held true for major depressive disorders and personality disorders, but not for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Cholesterol level and the severity of suicide attempt were inversely correlated.


The results suggest that cholesterol level may serve as a marker for suicide risk. Possible explanations are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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