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Assessment of Risk Factors Related to Suicide Attempts in Patients With Bipolar Disorder

Song, Joo Yun MD*†; Yu, Han Young MSc; Kim, Se Hyun MD, PhD; Hwang, Samuel S.-H. MA‡§; Cho, Hyun-Sang MD, PhD; Kim, Yong Sik MD, PhD*†‡§; Ha, Kyooseob MD, PhD; Ahn, Yong Min MD, PhD*†‡

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: November 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 11 - p 978–984
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182718a07
Original Articles

Abstract: We compared the characteristics of patients with bipolar disorder with and without a history of suicide attempts to identify the risk factors of suicide in this disorder. Among 212 patients with bipolar disorder, 44 (21.2%) patients had histories of suicide attempts. Suicide attempters were younger and more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar II. The variables that differentiated those who did from those who did not attempt suicide included age at first contact, lifetime history of antidepressant use, major depressive episode, mixed episode, auditory hallucinations, rapid cycling, the number of previous mood episodes, age of first depressive episode, and age of first psychotic symptoms. Strong predictors of suicide attempts were younger age at onset, lifetime history of auditory hallucinations, and history of antidepressant use. Antecedent depressive episodes and psychotic symptoms predicted the first suicide attempt in patients with bipolar disorder. This study could help clinicians to understand the major risk factors of suicidal behavior in bipolar disorder.

*Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; †Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea; ‡Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; §Interdisciplinary Program in Brain Science, Department of Natural Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; ∥Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; and ¶Mood Disorders Clinic and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea.

Kyooseob Ha, MD, PhD, and Yong Min Ahn, MD, PhD, equally contributed to this study as corresponding authors.

Send reprint requests to Yong Min Ahn, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-Dong, Chongno-Gu, Seoul 110–744, Republic of Korea. E-mail: aym@snu.ac.kr; Kyooseob Ha, MD, PhD, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 166 Gumi-Ro, Bundang-Gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi 463–707, Republic of Korea. E-mail: kyooha@snu.ac.kr.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.