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Suicidal risks among 2826 Sardinian major affective disorder patients

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Tondo L, Lepri B, Baldessarini RJ. Suicidal risks among 2826 Sardinian major affective disorder patients. Objective: 

We estimated risks of suicidal behaviors in 2826 mood-disorder patients evaluated and followed in a Sardinian mood disorders research center over the past 30 years. Method: 

We determined rates of suicidal ideation, attempts, and suicides, with associated risk factors, in men and women with DSM-IV bipolar I (BP-I; n = 529), BP-II; (n = 314), or major depressive disorders (MDD; n = 1983), at risk for an average of 11 years of illness. Results: 

Observed rates (% of patients/year) of suicide ranked: BP-II (0.16) ≥ BP-I (0.14) > MDD (0.05); attempts: BP-I (1.52) > BP-II (0.82) > MDD (0.48); ideation: BP-II (42.7) > MDD (33.8) > BP-I (22.7). The ratio of attempts/suicides (lethality index) ranked: BP-II (5.12) < MDD (9.60) ≤ BP-I (10.8). Male/female risk-ratios were greater for suicide than attempts or ideation. One-third of all reported acts occurred within the first year of illness, and earliest among MDD patients. Factors associated independently with suicidal acts included BP diagnosis, hospitalizations/person, and early illness-onset; factors associated with suicidal ideation were having an affective temperament, BP-II diagnosis, and higher suicidality-corrected depression score at intake. Conclusion: 

Suicidal behaviors were more prevalent among BPD than MDD out-patients.

Keywords: attempts; bipolar disorders; ideation; major depression; risk factors; sex; suicide; temperament

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Lucio Bini Mood Disorders Research Center, Cagliari, and Department of Psychology, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 2: Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Program, Harvard Medical School and McLean Division of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2007


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