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Front Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 13;8:40. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00040. eCollection 2017.

Clinical Characteristics of Diabetes Mellitus and Suicide Risk.

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Department of Psychological, Health, and Territorial Sciences, University "G. d'Annunzio" of Chieti-Pescara , Chieti , Italy.
Department of Medicine and Aging, University "G. d'Annunzio" of Chieti-Pescara , Chieti , Italy.



Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic illness with impaired health-related quality of life and a high risk of psychiatric disorders. We carried out a systematic review analyzing the relationship between DM and suicide by providing a qualitative data synthesis of the studies.


We conducted, in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a systematic search of the literature in PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect. Search terms were "suicid*" combined with the Boolean "AND" operator with "diabetes."


The initial search identified 568 citations. A total of 17 research reports met the predefined inclusion criteria and were analyzed. DM was found to be significantly associated with a marked increase in suicidal behaviors and suicidal ideation (SI), especially in patients with depressive symptoms. Insulin therapy, DM of long duration, and unsatisfactory glycemic control were identified as risk factors for SI in Type 1 (T1DM) and Type 2 (T2DM).


Health-care professionals need to be aware of the higher suicidal risk in patient subgroups based on the clinical characteristics of DM; thus, patients with these characteristics warrant special attention. In this regard, clinical management should include efforts to manage emotional distress in DM care.


depression; diabetes mellitus; suicidal behavior; suicidal ideation; suicide attempt

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