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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1996 Winter;26(4):380-94.

Temperamental vulnerability and suicide risk after attempted suicide.

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


The aim was to extend recent findings of suggested temperamental features in attempted suicide and to explore possible domains of vulnerability to suicide risk after attempted suicide. Fifty-four psychiatric inpatients hospitalized after a suicide attempt underwent lumbar puncture for analysis of CSF 5-HIAA concentration and also completed the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) before discharge from the hospital. Suicide attempters scored high on Somatic Anxiety, Psychic Anxiety, and Muscular Tension, and low on Socialization, findings that support recent findings in suicide attempters followed up after an emergency room visit. Five patients committed early suicide, i.e., within 3 years, and the overall long-term suicide mortality after attempted suicide was 13%. There were significant correlations between survival time among early suicides and CSF 5-HIAA (r = .87; p = .054), and the following KSP scale t scores: Somatic Anxiety (r = -.96; p < .05), Impulsivity ( r = -.88; p < .05), and Socialization (r = 90; p < .05). KSP Socialization showed correlations with CSF 5-HIAA (r = .89; p = .046) among the early suicides. Features of temperamental vulnerability to suicide risk after attempted suicide might involve anxiety proneness, impulsivity, low socialization, and low CSF 5-HIAA.

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