Year: 2023 Source: Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation. (2023). 10(10). SIEC No: 20230822
Background Youth with eating disorders (EDs) face an increased risk of a premature suicide death. Precursors of completed suicide are suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, which need to be well understood to prevent suicide. However, epidemiological data on the lifetime prevalence and clinical correlates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (i.e., “suicidality”) are lacking for the vulnerable group of inpatient ED youth. Methods This retrospective chart review was conducted at a psychiatric child and adolescent inpatient department, covering a 25-year period. Consecutively hospitalized youth with an ICD-10 diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN), restricting type (AN-R), binge-purging type (AN-BP), and bulimia nervosa (BN) were included. Data extraction and coding were standardized with trained raters extracting information from patient records according to a procedural manual and using a piloted data extraction template. The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts was calculated for each ED subgroup, and clinical correlates of suicidality were analyzed via multivariable regression analyses. Results In the sample of 382 inpatients aged 9–18 years (median age = 15.6, females = 97.1%; AN-R: n = 242, BN: n = 84, AN-BP: n = 56), 30.6% of patients had lifetime suicidal ideation (BN:52.4% ≈ AN-BP:44.6% > AN-R:19.8%, χ2(2,382) = 37.2, p < 0.001, Φ = 0.31), and 3.4% of patients reported a history of suicide attempts (AN-BP:8.9% ≈ BN:4.8% > AN-R:1.7%, χ2(2,382) = 7.9, p = 0.019, Φ = 0.14). Independent clinical correlates of suicidality were i) for AN-R a higher number of psychiatric comorbidities (OR = 3.02 [1.90, 4.81], p < 0.001), and body weight < 1st BMI percentile at hospital admission (OR = 1.25 [1.07,1.47], p = 0.005) (r2 = 0.20); ii) for AN-BP patients a higher number of psychiatric comorbidities (OR = 3.68 [1.50, 9.04], p = 0.004) and history of childhood abuse (OR = 0.16 [0.03, 0.96], p = 0.045) (r2 = 0.36), and iii) for BN patients a higher prevalence of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)(OR = 3.06 [1.37, 6.83], p = 0.006) (r2 = 0.13). Conclusions About half of youth inpatients with AN-BP and BN had lifetime suicidal ideation, and one-tenth of patients with AN-BP had attempted suicide. Treatment programs need to address specific clinical correlates of suicidality, namely, low body weight, psychiatric comorbidities, history of childhood abuse, and NSSI.