Serious Suicide Attempts and Risk of Suicide Death
Prabhakar D, Peterson EL, Hu Y, Chawa S, Rossom RC, Lynch FL, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Owen-Smith AA, Williams LK, Beck A, Simon GE, and Ahmedani BK. Serious Suicide Attempts and Risk of Suicide Death. Crisis 2020;1-8.
Background: In the US, more than one million people attempt suicide each year. History of suicide attempt is a significant risk factor for death by suicide; however, there is a paucity of data from the US general population on this relationship.
Aim: The objective of this study was to examine suicide attempts needing medical attention as a risk for suicide death.
Method: We conducted a case-control study involving eight US healthcare systems. A total of 2,674 individuals who died by suicide from 2000 to 2013 were matched to 267,400 individuals by year and location.
Results: Prior suicide attempt associated with a medical visit increases risk for suicide death by 39.1 times, particularly for women (OR = 79.2). However, only 11.3% of suicide deaths were associated with an attempt that required medical attention. The association was the strongest for children 10-14 years old (OR = 98.0). Most suicide attempts were recorded during the 20-week period prior to death.
Limitations: Our study is limited to suicide attempts for which individuals sought medical care.
Conclusion: In the US, prior suicide attempt is associated with an increased risk of suicide death; the risk is high especially during the period immediately following a nonlethal attempt.
ePub ahead of print