TBI Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

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Individuals with medical contact for traumatic brain injury have increased risk of suicide.
Individuals with medical contact for traumatic brain injury have increased risk of suicide.

HealthDay News — Individuals with medical contact for traumatic brain injury (TBI) have increased risk of suicide, according to a study published in the Aug. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Trine Madsen, Ph.D., from the Mental Health Centre Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study using nationwide registers covering 7,418,391 individuals living in Denmark with 164,265,624 person-years of follow-up to examine the correlation between TBI and subsequent suicide. Of the participants, 7.6 percent had a medical contact for TBI.

The researchers found that the absolute suicide rate was 41 versus 20 per 100,000 persons-years among those with versus without TBI, with an adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 1.90. Severe TBI was associated with an IRR of 2.38 compared with no TBI, whereas mild TBI and skull fracture without documented TBI had IRRs of 1.81 and 2.01, respectively. There was a correlation for suicide risk with the number of medical contacts for TBI versus those with no TBI contacts: for one, two, and three or more TBI contacts the IRRs were 1.75, 2.31, and 2.59, respectively. Temporal proximity since last medical contact for TBI was associated with suicide risk, with an IRR of 3.67 within the first six months.

"In this nationwide registry-based retrospective cohort study, individuals with medical contact for TBI, compared with the general population without TBI, had increased suicide risk," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the Lundbeck Foundation, which partially funded the study.

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