Year: 2001 Source: American Journal of Psychiatry, v.158, no.5, (May 2001), p.748-753 SIEC No: 20011297

This study compared the validity of demographic & historical risk factors with that of the dexamethasone test (DST). 78 inpatients entered a long-term follow-up study between 1978-1981 & underwent a 1-mg DST. The number of suicides in this group during a 15-year follow-up period was determined & the predictive validity of 4 demographic & historical risk factors were compared to the predictive validity of the DST results. 32 of the 78 patients had abnormal DST results. Survival analysis showed the estimated risk for eventual suicide in this group was 26.8% compared to only 2.9% among patients with normal DST results. None of the demographic & historical risk factors significantly distinguished those who later completed suicide from those who did not. (42 refs.)