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Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Sep;147(9):1189-94.

Time-related predictors of suicide in major affective disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612.


The authors studied 954 psychiatric patients with major affective disorders and found that nine clinical features were associated with suicide. Six of these--panic attacks, severe psychic anxiety, diminished concentration, global insomnia, moderate alcohol abuse, and severe loss of interest or pleasure (anhedonia)--were associated with suicide within 1 year, and three others--severe hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and history of previous suicide attempts--were associated with suicide occurring after 1 year. These findings draw attention to the importance of 1) standardized prospective data for studies of suicide, 2) assessment of short-term suicide risk factors, and 3) anxiety symptoms as modifiable suicide risk factors within a clinically relevant period.

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