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Prospective study of risk factors for attempted suicide among patients with DSM–IV major depressive disorder

  • T. Petteri Sokero (a1), Tarja K. Melartin (a1), Heikki J. Rytsälä (a1), Ulla S. Leskelä (a1), Paula S. Lestelä-Mielonen (a1) and Erkki T. Isometsä (a2)...
Abstract
Background

There are few prospective studies on risk factors for attempted suicide among psychiatric out- and in-patients with major depressive disorder.

Aims

To investigate risk factors for attempted suicide among psychiatric out- and in-patients with major depressive disorder inthe city of Vantaa, Finland.

Method

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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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Copyright
Corresponding author
Erkki T. Isometsä, Head of Mood Disorders Research, Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, F1N-00300 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: erkki.isometsa@ktl.fi
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Prospective study of risk factors for attempted suicide among patients with DSM–IV major depressive disorder

  • T. Petteri Sokero (a1), Tarja K. Melartin (a1), Heikki J. Rytsälä (a1), Ulla S. Leskelä (a1), Paula S. Lestelä-Mielonen (a1) and Erkki T. Isometsä (a2)...
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