Suicidal Behavior Linked to Hospitalization
Research has shown that being hospitalized for an infection may increase the risk for suicidal behavior, suggesting for the first time that there may be a biological basis for some suicides or suicide attempts. Data from the Danish national registry collected from 1980 to 2011 and involving 72 million people was used for the study. According to researchers, people who had been hospitalized with infection during the study period, were 42% more likely to die by suicide than people who had not been hospitalized with infection.
Findings published in JAMA Psychiatry show that one in 10 suicides were linked to infection, although a cause-result link was not established. The study supported a controversial theory: that inflammation in the body is related to suicide risk.
Several smaller studies have indicated that the immune system’s response to inflammation and infection may play a role in increasing the risk for suicidal behavior. In this recent study, 809,384 people were hospitalized with infections and 32,683 people died by suicide. Of the people who died by suicide, more than 21% had been in the hospital with infection.
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