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Keywords:

  • suicide;
  • depressive disorder;
  • severity;
  • gender

Objective:  The long-term suicide risk of depression was evaluated in a community sample by severity and gender.

Method:  The Lundby study is a prospective, longitudinal cohort study on a population consisting of 3563 subjects. In 1947–1997 medium or severe depression according to the Lundby diagnostic system were registered in 503 subjects. The same subjects were also diagnosed according to DSM-IV showing major depressive disorder (MDD) in 293 and depressive disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS) in 131 subjects.

Results:  The overall long-term suicide risk varied from 5.6% to 6.8%. The long-term suicide risk was 3.1% for medium and 11.4% for severe ‘Lundby depression’, 3.7% for medium and 13.8% for severe MDD + DDNOS, 3.1% for medium and 13.7% for severe MDD. Severity and male sex were risk factors for suicide.

Conclusion:  Males with a severe depression showed a high long-term risk for suicide, around 20%.