JOURNAL ARTICLE

Population attributable risk of major depression for suicidal ideation in a random and representative community sample

Robert D Goldney, Eleonora Dal Grande, Laura J Fisher, David Wilson
Journal of Affective Disorders 2003, 74 (3): 267-72
12738045

BACKGROUND: The importance of depression in suicidal behaviour and suicidal ideation is usually determined on clinical samples. However, public health planning also requires population data. This study utilised the population attributable risk statistic in determining the importance of major depression as a contributing factor to suicidal ideation in a random and representative sample of the population.

METHOD: Major depression and suicidal ideation as well as demographic and clinical data were delineated in a random and representative population sample of 3010 subjects. The population attributable risk statistic was used to determine the contribution of major depression to suicidal ideation.

RESULTS: Multivariate analysis demonstrated that major depression was the major contributor to the risk for suicidal ideation with a population attributable risk of 56.6%.

CONCLUSIONS: These results, utilising different measures of depression and suicidal ideation to those few previous population attributable risk studies examining this issue, confirm the overwhelming importance of major depression as a contributing factor to suicidal ideation in the community.

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