[Age and gender: confounders for axis I disorders as risk factors for suicide]

Barbara Schneider, Bernadette Bartusch, Axel Schnabel, Jürgen Fritze
Psychiatrische Praxis 2005, 32 (4): 185-94

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: Aim of the study was to identify and estimate psychiatric axis I disorders as risk factors for suicide in different age groups using a psychological autopsy study with case-control design. 163 suicides and 396 population-based control persons were assessed with a standardized semi-structured interview including SCID-I (for DSM-IV).

RESULTS: Logistic regression analyses revealed significantly elevated odds ratios for alcohol-related disorders in men aged 31 to 45, 46 to 60, and 61 to 75 years (OR = 9.0, OR = 7.5, and OR = 10.7, respectively) and for Major Depression, single episode, in men and women aged 61 to 75 years (OR = 42.7 and OR = 15.9). In males aged 31 to 45 years polysubstance-related disorders (OR = 9.5) and in females aged 61 to 75 years cognitive and mental disorders due to a general medical condition (OR = 12.2) were significantly and independently associated with suicide.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol-related disorders and Major Depression differently contribute to male and female suicide risk in special age groups. These findings imply differentiated prevention strategies.

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