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21 August 2014 : Clinical Research  

Suicidal Behavior in Schizophrenia may be Related to Low Lipid Levels

Babajohn AiniyetABCDEF, Janusz K. RybakowskiACDEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890884

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:1486-1490

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lifetime suicide mortality in people with schizophrenia is approximately 4–5%, which is higher than in the general population. In mood disorders, many studies and meta-analyses have shown a link between suicidal behavior and low lipid levels, especially that of cholesterol, and some studies have also suggested such a relationship in schizophrenia. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate a possible correlation between suicidal behavior and lipid levels in schizophrenia patients recently admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Our study included 148 (69 males, 79 females) schizophrenia patients with a mean age of 32±10 years, all recently admitted due to acute exacerbation of their mental illness. Psychometric and laboratory assessments were made within 24–72 hours after hospital admission. The main purpose of the interview was to assess occurrence of any suicidal thoughts, suicidal tendencies, and/or suicide attempts during the 3 months prior to admission. Serum total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides and total lipids were measured.

RESULTS: A significant association was found between suicidal thoughts and attempts and low total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total lipids, in both male and female patients. In male patients with suicidal tendencies, correlation with low LDL cholesterol and triglycerides did not reach statistical significance. No association with suicidality was found with HDL cholesterol in subjects studied.

CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained suggest that, similar to depressed patients, low total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total lipids can be state-dependent risk factors for suicidal behavior in Polish patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Biological Markers - blood, Cholesterol - blood, Lipids - blood, Poland - epidemiology, Risk Factors, Schizophrenia - metabolism, suicidal ideation, Triglycerides - blood

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750