Year: 2022 Source: JAMA Psychiatry. (2022). Published online 31 August 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.2379 SIEC No: 20220701
Importance  Suicide rates have been increasing among youth in the US. While the heritability of suicide risk is well established, there is limited understanding of how genetic risk is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young children. Objective  To examine whether genetic susceptibility to suicide attempts (SAs) is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children. Design, Setting, and Participants  This case-control study examined data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a population-based longitudinal study of 11 878 US children enrolled at age 9 and 10 years from September 2016 to November 2018. Youth reports of suicidal ideation (SI) and SAs were obtained from the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia at baseline and 2 subsequent years. After conservative quality control of genotype data, this analysis focused on 4344 unrelated individuals of European ancestry. Data analysis was conducted from November 2020 to February 2022. Main Outcomes and Measures  Children’s lifetime experiences of SI and SAs were assessed each year from ages 9 to 10 years to ages 11 to 12 years. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for SAs were calculated for ABCD study participants based on the largest genome-wide association study of SA cases and controls of European ancestry (total sample n = 518 612). Results  Of 4344 children of European ancestry (2045 [47.08%] female; mean [SD] age, 9.93 [0.62] years), significant associations were found between children’s SA PRSs and their lifetime SAs with the most robust association in the follow-up year 2 (odds ratio, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.18-1.75]; corrected P = 1.85 × 10−3; Nagelkerke pseudo R2 = 1.51%). These associations remained significant after accounting for children’s sociodemographic backgrounds, psychopathology symptoms, parental histories of suicide and mental health, and PRSs for major depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (likelihood ratio test P < .05). Children’s depressive mood and aggressive behavior were the most significant partial mediators of SA genetic risk on SAs (mediation analysis P < 1 × 10−16). Children’s behavioral problems, such as attention problems, rule-breaking behavior, and social problems, also partially mediated the association of SA PRSs with SAs (mediation analysis false discover rate < 0.05). Conclusions and Relevance  This study’s findings indicate that there may be genetic factors associated with SA risk across the life span and suggest behaviors and conditions through which the risk could be mediated in childhood. Further research is warranted to examine whether incorporating genetic data could improve the identification of children at risk for suicide.