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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2019 May;139(5):464-471. doi: 10.1111/acps.13019. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Association between leptin levels and severity of suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

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NORMENT, K.G. Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Clinical Science, NORMENT, K.G. Jebsen Center for Psychosis Research, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Department of Medical Genetics, Dr. Einar Martens Research Group for Biological Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.



Associations between suicidality and lipid dysregulation are documented in mental illness, but the potential role of leptin remains unclear. We examined the association between leptin and suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia, together with the influence of other clinical and biological indices.


We recruited a sample of 270 participants with schizophrenia spectrum diagnoses. Blood samples were analysed for leptin, while symptom severity was assessed by Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C). Patients' history of suicidal behaviour was categorized into three subgroups based on IDS-C suicide subscale: No suicidal behaviour, mild/moderate suicidal behaviour and severe suicidal behaviour with/without attempts.


Mild/moderate suicidal behaviour was present in 17.4% and severe suicidal behaviour in 34.8%. Both groups were significantly associated with female gender (OR = 6.0, P = 0.004; OR = 5.9, P = 0.001), lower leptin levels (OR = 0.4, P = 0.008; OR = 0.5, P = 0.008) and more severe depression (OR = 1.2, P < 0.001; OR = 1.1, P < 0.001) respectively. Smoking (OR = 2.6, P = 0.004), younger age of onset (OR = 0.9, P = 0.003) and less use of leptin-increasing medications (OR = 0.5, P = 0.031) were associated with severe/attempts group, while higher C-reactive protein CRP (OR = 1.3, P = 0.008) was associated with mild/moderate group.


Lower leptin levels were associated with higher severity of suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia.


depression; leptin; lipid; schizophrenia; suicide


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