Alcohol Consumption and Nearly Lethal Suicide Attempts


  • This study was funded in part through an interagency agreement, number 2Y02-AA30017, with the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    We wish to thank the members of the Houston Case-Control Study of Nearly Lethal Suicide Attempts team for their contributions to the conceptualization, design and collection of these data.

Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Mailstop K60, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30341–3724.


We conducted a case-control study of the association between nearly lethal suicide attempts and facets of alcohol consumption; namely, drinking frequency, drinking quantity, binge drinking, alcoholism, drinking within 3 hours of suicide attempt, and age began drinking. Subjects were 13–34 years of age. In bivariable analyses, all measures were associated with nearly lethal suicide attempts. Odds ratios ranged from 2.4 for alcoholism to 7.0 for drinking within 3 hours of attempt. All exposure variables except age began drinking exhibited a J-shaped relationship between alcohol exposure and nearly lethal suicide attempt. After controlling for potential confounders and other measures of alcohol exposure, drinking within 3 hours of attempt remained most strongly (odds ratios > 6) associated. Alcoholism remained significantly associated in most models, but at lower strength.