Can you predict suicide in individuals recently hospitalized for a mental disorder?

The Journal of Clinical PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | June 14, 2022



The suicide rate has increased by > 30% in the last 2 decades. Suicide now ranks 10th among all-cause deaths and 2nd in the 10-34 year age group.

Suicide prevention requires an understanding of antecedent risk factors based on patient demographics and clinical heterogeneity, such as patients recently hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder, the elderly, cancer patients, different ethnic groups, and adolescents.

Patients > 18 years of age (n=26,975) who were admitted to a psychiatric hospital were followed for 1 year and the demographic characteristics of those who committed suicide and/or had suicidal ideations were determined.

During the 1 year following discharge from a psychiatric hospital, 0.7% and 3.5% of patients committed suicide and attempted suicide, respectively.

Male gender and urban residence were risk factors for committing suicide (HR = 1.47 and 1.37, respectively). Female gender, rural residence, a pre-existing mental disorder, legal issues, and low income were risk factors for attempting suicide (HR = 0.63, 0.66, 1.63, 1.48, and 1.17, respectively).

Age was shown to be associated with a reduced risk of suicide attempts (HR = 0.99).