Year: 2017 Source: Archives of Suicide Research.(2017). 21(1):100-112. SIEC No: 20170121

The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships between alexithymia, suicide ideation, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and serum lipid levels in adult outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Seventy consecutive patients with GAD were recruited and evaluated. Measures were the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS–20), the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI), and the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). All patients were assessed for: CRP, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceridaemia (TG), and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios were also evaluated. Alexithymic patients showed higher scores on almost all rating scales and altered serum CRP and lipid levels vs. non-alexithymics. In the hierarchical regression model, the presence of higher MADRS scores together with higher scores at the Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 were associated with higher rates of suicide ideation. Although alexithymic subjects with GAD may show a CRP and cholesterol dysregulation, this latter seems independent on increased suicide ideation, rather to Difficulty in Identifying Feelings, and subthreshold depressive symptoms. Study limitations and future research implications are discussed.

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