Article

Attempted Suicide and Alcoholism in Bipolar Disorder: Clinical and Familial Relationships

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 01/2001; 157(12):2048-50. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.12.2048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined the clinical and familial relationships between comorbid alcoholism and attempted suicide in affectively ill relatives of probands with bipolar I disorder.
In 71 families ascertained for a genetic linkage study, 337 subjects with major affective disorder were assessed by using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime Version.
Subjects with bipolar disorder and alcoholism had a 38.4% lifetime rate of attempted suicide, whereas those without alcoholism had a 21.7% rate. Attempted suicide among subjects with bipolar disorder and alcoholism clustered in a subset of seven families. Families with alcoholic and suicidal probands had a 40.7% rate of attempted suicide in first-degree relatives with bipolar disorder, whereas other families had a 19.0% rate.
Comorbid alcoholism was associated with a higher rate of attempted suicide among family members with bipolar disorder. Attempted suicide and alcoholism clustered in a subset of families. These relationships may have a genetic origin and may be mediated by intoxication, mixed states, and/or temperamental instability.

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    • "Although exploring familiarity is more difficult for BP-II than for BP-I disorder, BP-II disorder also seems to run in families with specific aggregation patterns [92,110- 113]. Other several associated clinical phenomena, such as psychosis [114] [115], comorbidities [115] [116], and suicidality [117], and some characteristics of the course of illness, such as rapid cycling [118], age of onset [119] [120], and episode frequency [121] may come together in BP families. Moreover, BP and UP disorders seem also to run together in families, as BP patients frequently have UP family members and vice versa [122] [123]. "
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