Affective disorders and suicide risk: A reexamination

  • Bostwick J
  • Pankratz V
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Conclusions: The percentage of subjects dead due to suicide (case fatality preva- lence) is a more appropriate estimate of suicide risk than the percentage of the dead who died by suicide (proportionate mortality prevalence). More important, it is well established that patients with af- fective disorders suffer a higher risk of sui- cide relative to the general population. However, no risk factor, including classifi- cation of diagnostic subtype, has been re- liably shown to predict suicide. This arti- cle demonstrates a hierarchy of risk based on the intensity of the treatment setting. Given that patients with a hospitalization history, particularly when suicidal, have a much elevated suicide prevalence over both psychiatric outpatients and nonpa- tients, the clinical decision to hospitalize in and of itself appears to be a useful indi- cator of increased suicide risk.

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  • J. M. Bostwick

  • V. S. Pankratz

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