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Mol Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;12(1):47-54. Epub 2006 Sep 12.

Meta-analysis supports association between serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and suicidal behavior.

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Bio-X Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.


Suicidal behavior, which ranks among the top 10 causes of death worldwide, is an important public-health problem and a psychiatric disorder, which has been the subject of considerable study. Studies have shown association between the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene and suicidal behavior, although a proportion of alternative studies have produced contrary results both in terms of positive and negative findings, possibly reflecting inadequate statistical power and the use of different populations. Using the cumulative data from recent years in both European and, more particularly, Asian populations, this updated meta-analysis seeks to examine whether the aggregate data provide evidence of statistical significance, and to clarify the contradictory findings suggested by previous studies. It covers all published studies using multiple research methods up to January 2006. Compared with a previous meta-analysis, which found no association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and suicidal behavior (P=0.38), the current results (39 studies) suggest a significant association with a P-value of 0.0068 (overall odds ratio=0.88 (0.8,0.97)), and supports the involvement of the brain 5-HTT in the pathogenesis of suicidal behavior.

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