Centre for Suicide Research, University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 05/2009; 373(9672):1372-81. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60372-X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Suicide receives increasing attention worldwide, with many countries developing national strategies for prevention. Rates of suicide vary greatly between countries, with the greatest burdens in developing countries. Many more men than women die by suicide. Although suicide rates in elderly people have fallen in many countries, those in young people have risen. Rates also vary with ethnic origin, employment status, and occupation. Most people who die by suicide have psychiatric disorders, notably mood, substance-related, anxiety, psychotic, and personality disorders, with comorbidity being common. Previous self-harm is a major risk factor. Suicide is also associated with physical characteristics and disorders and smoking. Family history of suicidal behaviour is important, as are upbringing, exposure to suicidal behaviour by others and in the media, and availability of means. Approaches to suicide prevention include those targeting high-risk groups and population strategies. There are, however, many challenges to large-scale prevention, especially in developing countries.

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    • "First, the drug may have a causal role in triggering the adverse drug reaction. Second, the drug may have no causal role but is used in a condition which increases the risk of developing the adverse outcome, for example an association between antidepressants and suicide may be explained by the fact that depression itself is a risk factor for suicide [11]. Third, the drug may or may not have a causal role but there are reasons why patients, healthcare professionals and other individuals are more likely to send in a spontaneous report for the drug. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Psychiatric adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are distressing for patients and have important public health implications. We identified the drugs with the most frequent spontaneous reports of depression, and fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviour to the UK’s Yellow Card Scheme from 1998 to 2011. Methods We obtained Yellow Card data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for the drugs with the most frequent spontaneous reports of depression and suicidal behaviour from 1964 onwards. Prescribing data were obtained from the NHS Information Centre and the Department of Health. We examined the frequency of reports for drugs and estimated rates of reporting of psychiatric ADRs using prescribing data as proxy denominators from 1998 to 2011, as prescribing data were not available prior to 1998. Results There were 110 different drugs with ≥ 20 reports of depression, 58 with ≥10 reports of non-fatal suicidal behaviour and 33 with ≥5 reports of fatal suicidal behaviour in the time period. The top five drugs with the most frequent reports of depression were the smoking cessation medicines varenicline and bupropion, followed by paroxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), isotretinoin (used in acne treatment) and rimonabant (a weight loss drug). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, varenicline and the antipsychotic medicine clozapine were included in the top five medicines with the most frequent reports of fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviour. Medicines with the highest reliably measured reporting rates of psychiatric ADRs per million prescriptions dispensed in the community included rimonabant, isotretinoin, mefloquine (an antimalarial), varenicline and bupropion. Robust denominators for community prescribing were not available for two drugs with five or more suicide reports, efavirenz (an antiretroviral medicine) and clozapine. Conclusions Depression and suicide-related ADRs are reported for many nervous system and non-nervous system drugs. As spontaneous reports cannot be used to determine causality between the drug and the ADR, psychiatric ADRs which can cause significant public alarm should be specifically assessed and reported in all randomised controlled trials.
    BMC pharmacology & toxicology 09/2014; 15(1):54. DOI:10.1186/2050-6511-15-54
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    • "While suicide and suicidal behaviors are generally multifactorial [3], [5]–[7], bullying and help-seeking may play significant roles in these behaviors and their prevention in adolescents [3], [6], [8]–[13]. In adolescents, seeking help from non-health professionals, including peers, family members and teachers, and not only from professionals, is thought to play a major role in the prevention of suicide. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Being bullied is associated with the manifestation of suicidal feelings, which sharply increase in middle(-late) adolescence. Whether or not bullied middle(-late) adolescents with suicidal feelings seek help is therefore a critical issue, given that help-seeking plays a key role in the prevention of suicide. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of bullying, suicidal feelings and the interaction between these two factors on help-seeking behavior in adolescents. Methods Japanese middle(-late) adolescents (aged 15–18 years; n = 9484) were studied using self-report questionnaires. The rate of adolescents who actually sought help was examined for bullying status and suicidal feelings. Results The rate of adolescents who sought help was significantly higher when they were bullied (p<0.001) and also when they had mild suicidal feelings (p<0.001), but not when they displayed serious suicidal feelings. In the case of adolescents who were bullied, however, having suicidal feelings significantly decreased the rate of help-seeking (OR = 0.47, p<0.05 and OR = 0.32, p = 0.002 for having mild and serious suicidal feelings, respectively). The decrease was remarkable when suicidal feelings were serious. Specifically, the decrease was significant in seeking help from peers and family members, who are the most frequent source of the help for adolescents, when they had serious suicidal feelings (OR = 0.21, p<0.01 and OR = 0.13, p<0.001, respectively). Conclusions Suicidal feelings may interfere with help-seeking behavior, which could be critical in suicide prevention in bullied middle(-late) adolescents.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106031. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106031 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "During the last few years, many countries in Europe suffered from a severe economic crisis which resulted in high unemployment rates. In spite of the fact that clinical studies consistently show that unemployment is a risk factor for suicide [2,3], the possible relationship between unemployment rate and the suicidal rate at the level of the general population has been debated recently with conflicting opinions and conclusions [4-8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: During the last few years, many countries in Europe suffered from a severe economic crisis which resulted in high unemployment rates. In this frame, the possible relationship between unemployment rate and suicidal rates at the level of the general population has been debated recently. The official data concerning completed suicides and unemployment rates from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office for the years 2000-2011 were used. The percentage of changes from the previous year in the unemployment rate and the suicidal rates concerning both the general and the unemployed populations was calculated. Pearson correlation coefficient between the change in suicidal rates and change in unemployment rates was calculated both for the same year as well as after 1-6 years. The correlations between the unemployment rate and suicide rates were strongly negative both for the general and for the unemployed populations (-0.65 and -0.55, respectively). The correlation of unemployment change with suicidality change after 1-6 years gave a peak strong positive correlation at 5 years for the general population (0.78). At 4 years after the index year, there is a peak correlation with a moderate value for the unemployed population (0.47) and a similar moderate value for the general population (0.46). The current findings from Hungary suggest that unemployment might be associated with suicidality in the general population only after 3-5 years. It is possible that the distressing environment of the economic crisis increases suicidality in the general population rather than specifically in unemployed people.
    Annals of General Psychiatry 04/2014; 13(1):12. DOI:10.1186/1744-859X-13-12 · 1.40 Impact Factor
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