New Study Says Suicide Risk Greater Among Depression Patients Who Have Multiple Physical Diseases

Depression can have several causes behind it. It can be caused because of seasonal or hormonal changes or because of traumatic and stressful events. Sometimes the gene factor is also accountable for depression and other times, medication is to blame. Physical illnesses have also been found to be a cause here.

Patients of heart disease, stroke, arthritis, lupus, and some other diseases are at the risk of developing depressive symptoms which is why their doctors often prescribe them anti-anxiety tablets or antidepressants. In some cases, even therapy is needed to overcome the mood disorder.

Now a new study shows how dangerous depression can be among patients of physical ailments. As per this research work, people who have depression due to physical illness have a higher suicide risk.

What Did This Research Reveal?

A new research which has been presented at the American Psychiatric Association says that suicide risk in depression is linked to physical diseases and inflammation. The study, which has been presented in San Francisco, California, was a case-controlled one in which 1468 people who had attempted to suicide and 12,373 which were part of the control group were assessed.

These people had been diagnosed with depression between the years 2011 and 2015 and were in the age bracket of 18 to 65. The risk of suicide to systematic inflammation and physical illness was checked with measurements made through CRP, the C-reactive protein. Separate impacts of physical diseases and inflammation were also examined via regression models.

Stepwise alterations for various factors such as diseases, race, ethnicity, gender, etc. were made. And it was found that suicide risk in patients of depression increased significantly in the presence of a physical disease. People who had 1 physical disease had a 3.6-fold higher risk, those who had two had a 6.4-fold higher risk, and those who had three had a 14.9-fold greater risk.

From the people whose CRP metrics were available, it was found that those who had a CRP above 3mg/L were 1.9x more likely to attempt suicide compared to those who had less than 1mg/L. This shows that people who have been victims to multiple diseases should be assessed and their risk of committing suicide must be considered.

Researchers involved in the study said, “Presence of physical disease is an important risk factor for suicide attempt among patients with depression. Systemic inflammation is likewise associated with an increased risk for suicide attempt; however, this association appears to be accounted for by the presence of physical disease among patients receiving care in a medical center setting.”

Key Takeaway

A new study shows that suicide risk is higher in the case of patients of depression who have physical illness. Those who have more physical diseases are at a higher risk. Inflammation among depressed patients can also be responsible for upping suicide risk. Accordingly, professionals should take steps to consider as well as lower this risk.