Year: 2023 Source: Psychological Medicine. (2023). 53, 1448–1457. S0033291721003020 SIEC No: 20231275
Background: The degree to which suicide risk aggregates in US families is unknown. The authors aimed to determine the familial risk of suicide in Utah, and tested whether familial risk varies based on the characteristics of the suicides and their relatives. Methods: A population-based sample of 12 160 suicides from 1904 to 2014 were identified from the Utah Population Database and matched 1:5 to controls based on sex and age using at-risk sampling. All first through third- and fifth-degree relatives of suicide probands and controls were identified (N = 13 480 122). The familial risk of suicide was estimated based on hazard ratios (HR) from an unsupervised Cox regression model in a unified framework. Moderation by sex of the proband or relative and age of the proband at time of suicide (<25 v. ⩾25 years) was examined. Results: Significantly elevated HRs were observed in first- (HR 3.45; 95% CI 3.12–3.82) through fifth-degree relatives (HR 1.07; 95% CI 1.02–1.12) of suicide probands. Among first-degree relatives of female suicide probands, the HR of suicide was 6.99 (95% CI 3.99–12.25) in mothers, 6.39 in sisters (95% CI 3.78–10.82), and 5.65 (95% CI 3.38–9.44) in daughters. The HR in first-degree relatives of suicide probands under 25 years at death was 4.29 (95% CI 3.49–5.26). Conclusions: Elevated familial suicide risk in relatives of female and younger suicide probands suggests that there are unique risk groups to which prevention efforts should be directed – namely suicidal young adults and women with a strong family history of suicide.