Leo Sher, M.D.
A research report, “Fathers’ alcohol use and suicidal behaviour in offspring during youth and young adulthood” has been published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica online ahead of print (1). Researchers from Sweden examined the association between father’s alcohol use and suicidal behavior in offspring during youth and young adulthood.
A cohort of 68,910 Swedish citizens who were born between 1970 and 1985 and have fathers who participated in conscription for compulsory military training in 1969/70 was included in the study. Fathers born in 1949–1951 were included in this study, accounting for 97.7% of all conscripts in 1969/1970. Information on fathers’ alcohol use was obtained from the conscription examination and included the three variables: 1. Volume of consumption. 2. Frequency of intoxication. 3. Apprehensions for drunkenness. The offspring were followed for hospitalizations due to suicide attempts, or suicide mortality, from age 12 to the end of follow‐up in 2008, up to age 39.
The authors observed that the highest risk for suicidal behavior was for offspring to fathers with the most problematic consumption, that is having been apprehended for drunkenness or with a diagnosed alcohol‐related disorder. Offspring to fathers drinking heavily, but without alcohol‐related disorders, were also of increased risk for suicidal behavior. Most indicators of fathers’ alcohol use had an effect over and above other predictors of suicidal behavior in offspring that tend to co‐occur with parental heavy drinking. The authors suggest that their findings stress the importance of applying a wide public health approach to prevent suicidal behavior in offspring related to parental heavy drinking.
- Landberg J, Danielsson AK, Hemmingsson T. Fathers’ alcohol use and suicidal behaviour in offspring during youth and young adulthood. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2019 Sep 5. doi: 10.1111/acps.13098. [Epub ahead of print]