There are few prospective studies on risk factors for attempted suicide among psychiatric out- and in-patients with major depressive disorder.
To investigate risk factors for attempted suicide among psychiatric out- and in-patients with major depressive disorder inthe city of Vantaa, Finland.
The Vantaa Depression Study included 269 patients with DSM–IV major depressive disorder diagnosed using semi-structured interviews and followed up at 6- and 18-month interviews with a life chart.
During the 18-month follow-up, 8% of the patients attempted suicide. The relative risk of an attempt was 2.50 during partial remission and 7.54 during a major depressive episode, compared with full remission (P<0.001). Numerous factors were associated with this risk, but lacking a partner, previous suicide attempts and total time spent in major depressive episodes were the most robust predictors.
Suicide attempts among patients with major depressive disorder are strongly associated with the presence and severity of depressive symptoms and predicted by lack of partner, previous suicide attempts and time spent in depression. Reducing the time spent depressed is a credible preventive measure.
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