Year: 2009 Source: British Journal of Psychiatry, v.194, no.4, (May 2009), p.464-465 SIEC No: 20100255

Although lithium is known to prevent suicide in people with mood disorders, it is uncertain whether lithium in driking water could also help lower the risk in the general population. To investigate this, lithium levels in tap water in the 18 municipalities of Oita prefecture in Japan were examined in relation to the standardised mortality ratio in each municipality. It was found that lithium levels were significantly & negatively associated with standardised mortality ratio averages for 2002-2006. Findings suggest that even very low levels of lithium in drinking water may play a role in reducing suicide risk within the general population. (5 refs.)