Sher L, Grunebaum MF, Sullivan GM, Burke AK, Cooper TB, Mann JJ, Oquendo MA.
J Affect Disord. 2014 Sep;166:98-102.
BACKGROUND: Considerable evidence suggests that testosterone may play a role in the pathophysiology of mood disorders in females. This is the first prospective study to examine whether blood testosterone levels predict suicide attempts in females with bipolar disorder. METHODS: Females with a DSM-IV diagnosis of a bipolar disorder in a depressive or mixed episode with at least one past suicide attempt were enrolled. Demographic and clinical parameters were assessed and recorded. Plasma testosterone was assayed using a double antibody radioimmunoassay procedure. Patients were followed up prospectively for up to 2.5 years.RESULTS: At baseline, testosterone levels positively correlated with the number of previous major depressive episodes and suicide attempts. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis found that higher baseline testosterone levels predicted suicide attempts during the follow-up period. LIMITATIONS: A limitation of the study is that the sample size is modest. Another limitation is that we did not have a bipolar nonattempter or healthy volunteer control group for comparison. CONCLUSION: Testosterone levels may predict suicidal behavior in women with bipolar disorder.