Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Psychiatric Research, (2022), 155, 42-48. SIEC No: 20220999
This study assessed whether suicide attempts before 20 years of age were associated with medical morbidity later in life. We carried out a cohort study of 169,806 girls under age 20 years between 1989 and 2019 in Quebec, Canada. The cohort included 8086 girls admitted for suicide attempts, matched on age and year with 161,720 girls with no attempt. Outcomes included hospitalization for medical conditions, such as infection, allergic disorders, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and death from nonpsychiatric causes during 31 years of follow-up. We computed hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association of adolescent suicide attempt with these health outcomes using Cox regression models adjusted for preexisting mental illness, substance use disorders, and socioeconomic deprivation. Compared with matched controls, adolescent girls with suicide attempts had a greater risk of hospitalization for infection (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.44–1.68), allergic disorders (HR 1.72, 95% CI 1.45–2.05), cardiovascular disease (HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.12–1.52), and mortality (HR 3.11, 95% CI 1.69–5.70). Associations were present regardless of the age at the time of the suicide attempt, but were stronger for girls with repeated attempts. Associations were also more pronounced within the first 5 years of the attempt, although suicide attempts remained strongly associated with mortality throughout the 31-year follow-up period. The findings suggest that adolescent girls with suicide attempts have an elevated risk of medical morbidity and mortality and may benefit from closer clinical management to prevent adverse health outcomes.