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Sociodemographic and Clinical Differences Between Suicide Ideators and Attempters: A Study of Mood Disordered Patients 50 Years and Older

Authors

  • Maurizio Pompili MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
    • Address correspondence to M. Pompili, Department of Psychiatry, Sant'Andrea Hospital, 1035, Via di Grottarossa, 1035, Italy; E-mail: maurizio.pompili@uniroma1.it

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  • Marco Innamorati PSYD,

    1. Department of Neurosciences, Division of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
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  • Cristina Di Vittorio MD,

    1. Department of Neurosciences, Division of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
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  • Leo Sher MD,

    1. Mount Sinai School of Medicine and James J. Peters Veterans' Administration Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
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  • Paolo Girardi MD,

    1. Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
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  • Mario Amore MD

    1. Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health, Section of Psychiatry, University of Genova, Genova, Italy
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Abstract

Our study sought to characterize mood disordered suicide ideators and attempters 50 years and older admitted to a psychiatric ward either for a recent suicide attempt or for ongoing suicidal ideation. We enrolled 50 patients with suicide ideation consecutively admitted to an inpatient department and 50 patients admitted for a suicide attempt made in the last 48 hours. Suicide attempters more frequently had low social support and an age of onset of mood disorder of 46 years and older, and less frequently had a history of suicidal behaviors in the family members and pharmacological treatment, despite the fact that the groups did not differ with regard to antidepressants prescribed. The groups were not distinguishable based on several variables assumed to be risk factors for suicide behavior, such as proximal life events and stressors or alcohol use disorders. In both samples, comorbidity with organic diseases, the presence of stressful life events in the past 12 months, and a diagnosis of major depression were frequently reported. In conclusion, the presence of low social support and the absence of a pharmacotherapy may increase suicidal behaviors in patients at risk.

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