Leo Sher, M.D.
A research report, “Life expectancy after the first suicide attempt” has been published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica online ahead of print (1). A research group led by Dr. Jussi Jokinen examined mortality among suicide attempters in comparison to the general population.
Researchers calculated the life expectancy for a nationwide cohort of individuals hospitalized for the first time after attempted suicide in Sweden in 1971–2010. In all, 187,894 suicide attempters 18 years or older were included in the study. Because of the gender differences in suicidal behavior, the authors also examined mortality in men and women separately. Patients were followed up until death (all-cause mortality), emigration, or December 31, 2010 (the end of the study), whichever occurred first.
The life expectancy was reduced by 18 years for 20-year-old men and by 11 years for 20-year-old women who made their first suicide attempt during the study period. The life expectancy for 50-year-old men and women was reduced by 10 and 8 years, respectively. Most suicide attempters died of physical illnesses and not by suicide. The authors concluded that the life expectancy is markedly reduced in individuals with a history of suicide attempt.
- Jokinen J, Talbäck M, Feychting M, Ahlbom A, Ljung R. Life expectancy after the first suicide attempt. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2017 Dec 14. doi: 10.1111/acps.12842. [Epub ahead of print]