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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2018 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12459. [Epub ahead of print]

Psychological Impairment as a Predictor of Suicide Ideation in Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder characterized by severe food restriction resulting in low body weight and an intense fear of gaining weight. This disorder has one of the highest suicide rates of any psychiatric illness; however, few studies have investigated prospective predictors of suicide ideation (SI) in this population. Quality-of-life impairment may be particularly relevant for understanding suicide risk in AN, given associations with SI in other psychiatric disorders and associations with chronicity and severity in AN. This study explored associations between eating disorder-related impairment and SI in individuals with AN (n = 113) who completed assessments at treatment discharge and 3, 6, and 12 months after discharge. Greater psychological impairment predicted future occurrence of SI controlling for age, depression, history of SI, and eating disorder variables. Associations were specific to psychological impairment as other domains of impairment did not predict SI over time. Findings highlight the potential importance of targeting interpersonal-psychological consequences of AN to decrease future suicide risk.

[Available on 2019-09-26]

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