By Andrew M. Seaman
(Reuters Health) – The children of people who attempted suicide, regardless of whether they have a mood disorder themselves, have a four- to five-fold increased risk of trying to take their own lives, according to a new study.
While mood disorders play a role in a person’s risk of attempting suicide, the study’s lead author told Reuters Health that the study suggests there are other factors that need to be explored and explained.
“What that really means is that there is still part of this (family) transmission that we haven’t figured out,” said Dr. David Brent, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Previous studies have found that people with a family history of suicide attempts are at increased risk for suicide attempts, too. Those studies suggested a family history of mood disorders as the reason, but they only followed participants for one or two years, Brent and his coauthors note.
For the new study, Brent’s team followed the children of people with mood disorders for a longer period to look at the possible connections between parental suicide attempts, the offspring’s suicide attempts and mood disorders.
Between 1997 and 2012, 701 people between the ages of 10 and 50 were followed for about six years each. The study participants were the children of 334 people with mood disorders, 191 of whom had made a suicide attempt.
The researchers found that about 6 percent of the participants reported a suicide attempt before they entered the study and about 4 percent made an attempt while enrolled.
Brent and his colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry that the children of the people who reported suicide attempts were about five times more likely to attempt taking their own lives.
While accounting for mood disorders lessened the magnitude of the increased risk associated with the parent’s attempt, the children still had a four-fold greater likelihood of attempting suicide.
The researchers …read more
Source: More Fitness