Year: 2023 Source: Psychiatry Investigation. (2023). 20(1), 9-17. SIEC No: 20230682
Objective We investigated the differences in suicidality between young people and older adults with depression over the course of 12-week naturalistic treatment with antidepressants. Methods A total of 565 patients who had moderate to severe depression (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HAM-D] score ≥14) and significant suicidal ideation (Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation [SSI-B] score ≥6) were recruited from 18 hospitals. Participants were classified into two groups: the younger group (13-24 years of age, n=82) and the older group (≥25 years of age, n=483). Total scores over time on the SSI-B, HAM-D, and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) were assessed and compared between the two groups. Results At baseline, the younger group had lower HAM-D scores (21.0 vs. 22.2; p=0.028) but higher SSI-B scores (19.4 vs. 15.6; p<0.001) compared with the older group. The overall 12-week proportion of patients with resolved suicidality was 44.1% in the younger group and 69.2% in the older group. Although the improvement in the HAM-D and HAM-A scores did not differ between the groups, suicidal ideation in the younger group remained more severe than in the older group throughout the treatment. The ratio of the subjects who achieved HAM-D remission or response but did not achieve SSI-B remission was significantly higher in the younger group than in the older group. Conclusion These data suggest that in depressed youths, suicide risk is a serious concern throughout the course of depression even when favorable treatment outcomes are obtained.