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Nord J Psychiatry. 2010;64(1):68-72. doi: 10.3109/08039480903274431.

Attempted suicide predicts suicide risk in schizophrenia spectrum psychosis.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden.



People with schizophrenia have an increased risk of suicide and attempted suicide is suggested to be an important risk factor.


Our objective was to assess the cumulative survival, predictive values and odds ratios of attempted suicide for suicide in a long-term cohort of patients with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis with and without previous attempted suicide.


Inpatients (n=224) hospitalized with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis were followed for a mean of 25 years. All patients were followed up for causes of death. Information on suicide attempt before the end of the observation period was retrieved from medical records.


Eight percent died by suicide during the follow-up. Eighteen percent of suicide attempters died by suicide. Two percent of non-attempters died by suicide. There was a strong association between previous suicide attempt and suicide in men and women. Odds ratio for attempters vs. non-attempters was 10. Suicide risk was almost three times higher in male than female suicide attempters.


Previous attempted suicide is an important risk factor for suicide in both men and women with schizophrenia spectrum psychosis, particularly in male suicide attempters. The suicide risk remains high over a long period. Continuous assessment of risk factors and appropriate treatment are crucial for this patient group to prevent suicide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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