Wendy Thomson

University of Bristol, Bristol, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (2)7.53 Total impact

  • Wendy Thomson
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine how sex differences in suicide rates unfolded in a long-term follow up of patients who had been diagnosed with major depression. Patients who were diagnosed with major depression in the Chichester/Salisbury Catchment Area Study were followed for 49 years. Recorded deaths from suicide were compared with rates that were predicted from historical data on suicide mortality rates from 1960 onwards. An overall suicide rate of 3.4% was found in the present sample. Sixteen women and three men died from suicide. Women's suicide rates were significantly higher than the level predicted based on general population trends. Men showed a barely non-significant trend in the same direction. The diagnosis of clinical depression was associated more strongly with increased risk for suicide among women compared with men. Of the female suicides, 13 had been diagnosed with endogenous depression. While suicide rates are significantly higher for men in the general population, and for depressed patients of both sexes, the depression may be a particularly strong predictor of suicide risk among women. The dataset does not provide information about processes that mediate the relationship between depression and suicide mortality.
    Journal of affective disorders 03/2012; 139(1):52-5. · 3.76 Impact Factor
  • Wendy Thomson
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have shown higher rates of death from natural causes in the years immediately following an episode of clinical depression. The longer term relationship of depression to excess mortality is less clear because relatively few studies have followed the same cohort of patients for more than 10 years. The present paper reports on the findings following the same cohort of patients 49 years after discharge. Patients who were diagnosed with depression in the Chichester/Salisbury Catchment Area Study were followed for 49 years. The incidence of death from natural causes in the clinical population was compared with population rates adjusted for age and sex. The results suggest that clinical depression may have enduring effects on physical health that emerge later in life, the significance of which have so far remained undetected. Further analyses of death rates by age and sex suggest that: a.) Depression has a stronger impact on mortality among women. b.) Excess mortality starts to emerge at an earlier age among women. Because prior studies of depression and mortality have typically followed patients for fewer than 25 years, the long-term impact of major depression has remained undetected. The results are consistent with the view that depression has a negative impact on health that spans multiple decades. The association between mortality and depression could arise if prolonged treatment with antidepressant medication increases mortality. The association found between depression and mortality might also reflect differences in the quality of medical care that is provided to clinically depressed individuals. The present study does not control for factors that are confounded with depression (e.g., diet, exercise), nor does it utilize a matched control group. The pathways linking depression and mortality are likely to be complex and multifactorial in nature. The major implication of the present work is to suggest that such pathways link depression with long-term, as well as short-term differences in mortality.
    Journal of affective disorders 10/2010; 130(1-2):60-5. · 3.76 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4 Citations
7.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2012
    • University of Bristol
      • School of Experimental Psychology
      Bristol, ENG, United Kingdom