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Eur Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;18(1):23-7.

Cholesterol concentrations in violent and non-violent women suicide attempters.

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Psychiatric Clinic, 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether women with a history of violent suicide attempts have lower serum cholesterol concentrations than those who attempted suicide by non-violent methods. Our retrospective study used a case-control design to compare serum total cholesterol concentration, hematocrit, red blood cell count and body mass index (BMI) in women with a history of violent (n = 19) or non-violent (n = 51) suicide attempts and of non-suicidal controls (n = 70) matched by diagnosis and age. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with age as the covariate was used to analyze differences in cholesterol levels in groups according to violence. Violence was found to be a significant factor (P = 0.016). Using the Scheffé test, a significant difference (P = 0.011) was revealed between the group of violent and non-violent suicide attempters and between the violent suicide attempters and the control group. Patients with a violent suicidal attempt have significantly lower cholesterol levels than patients with non-violent attempts and the control subjects. Our findings suggest that suicide attempts should not be considered a homogeneous group. They are consistent with the theory that low levels of cholesterol are associated with increased tendency for impulsive behavior and aggression and contribute to a more violent pattern of suicidal behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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