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Suicidal phenotypes associated with family history of suicidal behavior and early traumatic experiences

J. Lopez-Castroman, I. Jaussent, S. Beziat, C. Genty, E. Olié, V. de Leon-Martinez, E. Baca-Garcia, A. Malafosse, P. Courtet & S. Guillaume.

 

Journal of Affective Disorders; Volume 142, Issue 1 , Pages 193-199.

 

Abstract

Background

Family history of suicidal behavior and personal history of childhood trauma are risk factors for suicidal behaviors. We hypothesize that subjects with any of these risk factors will show differential features and that subjects with both of them will display more severe phenotypes.

 

Methods

This study compares three groups of suicide attempters (n=878): subjects with a family history of suicidal behavior and a personal history of early traumatic experiences, subjects with a family history of suicidal behavior or a personal history of early traumatic experiences, and subjects with neither of these two risk factors, with regards to psychopathology, personality traits and suicidal behavior.

 

Results

Subjects with a family history of suicidal behavior and childhood trauma were younger at their first suicide attempt and made more frequent, severe and violent attempts when compared with the other groups. Differences in number and precocity of attempts remained after adjustments in a multinomial regression model. Finally, personality profiles were also substantially different in the group with higher impulsiveness, novelty seeking, affective lability and hopelessness.

 

Limitations

The information provided by subjects regarding childhood abuse and family history of suicidal behavior was not confirmed by other sources.

 

Conclusions

Suicide attempters with a family history of suicidal behavior and childhood trauma show specific characteristics that might be used to prevent future suicidal behaviors in this population. Both risk factors should be routinely investigated when assessing the suicidal risk of a patient.

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