Factors associated with suicide mortality among reproductive age women: a case-control study

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Journal of reproductive and infant psychology


OBJECTIVE: Examine demographic, psychosocial, pregnancy-related, and healthcare utilisation factors associated with suicide mortality among reproductive age women.

METHODS: Data from nine health care systems in the Mental Health Research Network were included. A case-control study design was used in which 290 reproductive age women who died by suicide (cases) from 2000 to 2015 were matched with 2,900 reproductive age women from the same healthcare system who did not die by suicide (controls). Conditional logistic regression was used to analyse associations between patient characteristics and suicide.

RESULTS: Women of reproductive age who died by suicide were more likely to have mental health (aOR = 7.08, 95% CI: 5.17, 9.71) or substance use disorders (aOR = 3.16, 95% CI: 2.19, 4.56) and to have visited the emergency department in the year prior to index date (aOR = 3.47, 95% CI: 2.50, 4.80). Non-Hispanic White women (aOR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.51, 0.97) and perinatal (pregnant or postpartum) women were less likely to have died by suicide (aOR = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.13, 0.58).

CONCLUSIONS: Reproductive age women with mental health and/or substance use disorders, prior emergency department encounters, or who are of racial or ethnic minority status were at increased risk of suicide mortality and may benefit from routine screening and monitoring. Future research should further examine the relationship between pregnancy-related factors and suicide mortality.

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ePub ahead of print

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