Women with a history of suicide attempts exhibit different levels of a specific protein in their bloodstream than those with no history of suicide attempts, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Graduate student Anastacia Kudinova and Brandon E. Gibb, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Binghamton University, recruited 73 women as part of a larger study focused on risk for depression and anxiety in families. They put the women into two groups — 34 women had a lifetime history of suicide attempts and 39 women had no lifetime history of suicide attempts. The researchers tested plasma levels in both groups for BDNF, or brain-derived neurotropic factor, a protein found in the brain and periphery that is critical to the creation and functioning of neurons and the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time. They found that women with a history of suicide attempts displayed lower circulating levels of BDNF than women with no history of suicide attempts.
This evidence suggests that the level of BDNF found within a woman’s circulatory system serves as a promising biomarker for suicidal behavior.
Full story at Science Daily
Young people between the ages of 15 and 30 living with a chronic illness are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their healthy peers, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
The study found that chronic conditions — such as asthma, diabetes and Crohn’s disease — increase a young person’s odds of suicidal thoughts by 28 per cent and plans to die by suicide by 134 per cent. Having a chronic condition increases the odds of a suicide attempt by 363 per cent.
“Evidence suggests risk for suicide attempts is highest soon after young people are diagnosed with a chronic illness,” said Mark Ferro, a professor in Waterloo’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. “There is a critical window of opportunity for prevention and continued monitoring.”
Full story at Science Daily
Self-harm was the leading cause of pregnancy-associated deaths in Colorado from 2004 to 2014, ahead of car crashes, medical conditions and homicide, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
The study, “Maternal Deaths from Suicide and Overdose in Colorado, 2004-2012,” found that of 211 maternal deaths, 30 percent were from self-harm, defined as suicide and nonintentional overdose deaths occurring during pregnancy and the first year after giving birth. In Colorado, the mortality rate from self-harm during the period was 9.6 per 100,000 live births. About 90 percent occurred in the postpartum period.
It is not known how the demographics and characteristics of maternal deaths in Colorado compare to other states or if such self-harm deaths are becoming more common. According to the study, in 2012 suicide was overall the most common cause of death in Colorado among those age 10 to 44.
Full story self-harm is leading cause of death in new mothers at Science Daily
Bipolar disorder is one of the most disabling medical conditions among adolescents worldwide. Similarly, being overweight or obese is common in adolescents and is known to confer risk for cardiovascular disease and other poor health outcomes in adulthood. As a result, the intersection of bipolar disorder and overweight is a matter of clinical and public health concern. Previous studies have demonstrated that overweight and obesity are more prevalent among adults with bipolar disorder as compared to the general population, and that overweight and obesity are associated with proxies of increased bipolar disorder severity, such as suicide attempts and greater symptom burden. Thus far, little is known about overweight among adolescents with bipolar disorder.
A study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) is the first to examine this topic in a large, representative sample of the US adolescent population. The NCS-A is a face-to-face survey of mental disorders in a representative sample of adolescents 13-17 years old. Participants included 295 adolescents with bipolar disorder, 1,112 with major depressive disorder, and 8,716 with neither of these conditions. 37.9% of adolescents with bipolar disorder were also overweight, compared to 32.4% of adolescents with major depressive disorder, and 32% of adolescents with neither of these conditions — differences that were not statistically significant.
Full story of bipolar disorder and obesity at Science Daily
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 11 in 2014. This was the first time suicide had shown up in the CDC’s top ten leading causes of death for children in this age group.
A recent study from Arielle Sheftall, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital demonstrates that some individual characteristics and precipitating circumstances may be more prominent in children who die by suicide compared with early adolescents who die by suicide. It is the first study to exclusively focus on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents, defined as ages 5 to 14.
“Children who died by suicide were more likely to have relationship problems with family members or friends whereas early adolescents were more likely to have boyfriend or girlfriend relationship problems,” said Dr. Sheftall, first author of the study. “These differences tended to fall along developmental lines given elementary school-aged children are more likely to spend time with family and friends and less likely to engage in romantic relationships, which become more common during adolescence.”
Full story of relationship and behavioral between children and suicide at Science Daily
The suicide rate among people with epilepsy is 22 percent higher than the general population, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in Epilepsy & Behavior.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. As recent research suggested that epilepsy, psychiatric disorders and suicide might be linked, CDC researchers used data from the 2003-2011 U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a large multiple-state surveillance system that collects information on violent deaths including suicide, to find out how often and in which conditions suicide occurs among epilepsy patients. The resulting report is the first state-based study in the United States to examine the suicide rate and suicide risk factors among people with epilepsy.
Between 2003 and 2011, an average of 17 out of 100,000 people with epilepsy, aged 10 years and older, died from suicide each year, compared to 14 out of 100,000 in the general population. Among adults aged 40-49 years, those with epilepsy died more often from suicide (29 percent) than those without epilepsy (22 percent).
Full story of suicide rates among epilepsy population at Science Daily
An Australian study has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the tools used by medical professionals to assess suicide risk in mental health patients, prompting calls for a review of the allocation of resources based on the assessments.
The meta-analysis, led by clinical psychiatrist and Conjoint Professor Matthew Large from UNSW Australia’s School of Psychiatry, has been published in the PLOS ONE journal.
It found that suicide risk assessment tools were not successful in predicting suicide outcomes, with no evidence of scientific progress over the past 50 years, pointing to a need for a more patient-focused approach to crisis mental health care.
Full story of suicide risks in mental health patients at Science Daily
A new study by the University of Toronto (U of T), found the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts among adults who had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence during childhood was 17.3% compared to 2.3% among those without this childhood adversity.
“We had expected that the association between chronic parental domestic violence and later suicide attempts would be explained by childhood sexual or physical abuse, or by mental illness and substance abuse. However, even when we took these factors into account, those exposed to chronic parental domestic violence still had more than twice the odds of having attempted suicide” reported lead author Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Institute for Life Course and Aging.
The study examined a nationally representative sample of 22,559 community-dwelling Canadians, using data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health. Parental domestic violence was defined as “chronic” if it had occurred more than 10 times before the respondent was age 16.
Full story of parental domestic violence and suicide at Science Daily
Increasing specialist community services like crisis resolution, helping make the transition to adult services smoother for young people, and implementing clinical guidelines are just some of the service changes that are linked to significantly reduced suicide rates in mental health services in England over the last 16 years, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.
The study by researchers at the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness at the University Manchester also finds that suicide rates were higher in mental health trusts with higher levels of staff turnover, suggesting that organisational factors may be equally important in preventing suicide.
Previous studies examining which aspects of mental health service provision are most effective in preventing suicide are scarce, have been inconsistent in their findings, and limited in scope. This is the first study to look at the impact of specific mental health service improvements in a range of organisational contexts, on suicide rates.
Full story of NHS mental health improvements and suicide rates at Science Daily
Studies of mental health among transgender people in the United States have been consistently grim, showing higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.
But almost nothing is known about the mental health of a new and growing generation of transgender Americans — prepubescent children who are living openly as transgender with the support of their families. How do those children fare in an environment of openness and family support? When their gender identity is affirmed, are they happy?
New University of Washington research suggests the answer is yes. To be published Feb. 26 in Pediatrics, the study is believed to be the first to look at the mental health of transgender children who have “socially transitioned,” changing their preferred pronouns and typically, their names, clothing and hairstyles.
Full story of transgender children and mental health at Science Daily