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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1995 May;91(5):336-40.

Survival analysis of suicide risk after attempted suicide.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Survival analysis of suicide risk by sex and age after attempted suicide was studied in a cohort of 1573 suicide attempters referred to the psychiatric emergency room at the Karolinska Hospital from 1981 to 1988. The time course of suicide risk and the overall prognosis after attempted suicide and, in particular, the possible usefulness of sex and age as risk factors for the prediction of suicide risk after attempted suicide was analyzed. Nearly two thirds of the sample were women and most of the suicide attempters were young (in their twenties and thirties), and the median age was 35 years. The overall mortality after a 5-year mean observation period after attempted suicide was 11%, and the suicide mortality was 6%. The suicide risk after attempted suicide among men (8.3%) was nearly twice the female suicide risk (4.3%). Age as a possible suicide risk factor was analyzed for each sex separately by median split subgrouping. It was concluded that both older and younger male suicide attempters are at high risk of suicide (7% and 10% respectively), and older women are at higher risk than younger (6% vs 2%). The suicide risk is particularly high during the first year after the suicide attempt. The high suicide risk group of young adult male suicide attempters is one of the main feasible targets of psychiatric intervention research programs on suicidal behavior. Suicide among young men is a major cause of years of life lost.

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