Pompili M, Gibiino S, Innamorati M, Serafini G, Del Casale A, De Risio L, Palermo M, Montebovi F, Campi S, De Luca V, Sher L, Tatarelli R, Biondi M, Duval F, Serretti A, Girardi P.
Psychiatry Res. 2012 Jun 27. [Epub ahead of print]
The aim of this study is to evaluate biological factors associated with recent suicidal attempts in a naturalistic sample. A total of 439 patients suffering from major depression disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BD) and psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and psychosis not otherwise specified), who were consecutively assessed in the Emergency Department of an Italian Hospital (January 2008-December 2009), were included. In the whole sample, suicide attempters and non-attempters differed with regard to free triiodothyronine (FT3) and prolactin values only. A univariate general linear model indicated significant effects of sex (F(1;379)=9.29; P=0.002), suicidal status (F(1;379)=4.49; P=0.04) and the interaction between sex and suicidal status (F(1;379)=5.17; P=0.02) on prolactin levels. A multinomial logistic regression model indicated that suicidal attempters were 2.27 times (odds ratio (OR)=0.44; 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 0.23/0.82; P=0.01) less likely to have higher FT3 values than non-attempters; while prolactin values failed to reach statistical significance (OR=0.99; 95%CI: 0.98/1.00; P=0.051). Both prolactin and thyroid hormones may be involved in a complex compensatory mechanism to correct reduced central serotonin activity. Further studies may help in understanding how these findings can be used by clinicians in assessing suicide risk.