Patients with OCD are 10 times more likely to commit suicide

Patients with OCD are 10 times more likely to commit suicide, contrary to what was previously thought. In a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, is also shown that the main predictor of suicide in OCD patients is a previous suicide attempt, which offers opportunities for prevention.

Suicide is a major public health problem that leads to an estimated 800 000 deaths worldwide each year. People with are at higher risk to die by , and about 90 percent of those who die by suicide are considered to suffer from a mental disorder.

However, little attention has been paid to the risk of suicide among people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), one of the most common . OCD has a lifetime prevalence of about two per cent in the general population, generally runs a chronic course, and is often associated with a significantly reduced quality of life. The risk of suicide in OCD has traditionally been considered low.

In order to estimate the risk of suicide among people affected by OCD and identify risk and protective factors associated with suicidal behavior in this group, the researchers analyzed data from the Swedish national registers, spanning over 40 years.

They identified 36 788 OCD patients in the Swedish National Patient Register between 1969 and 2013, of whom 545 had died by suicide and 4297 had attempted suicide. The risk of death by suicide was approximately ten times higher, and the risk of attempted suicide five times higher than that of the . After adjustment for other psychiatric disorders, the risk was reduced, but remained substantial.

"Within the OCD cohort, a previous suicide attempt was the strongest predictor of death by suicide. Having a personality disorder or a substance use disorder also increased the risk. In contrast, being a woman, higher socioeconomic status, and having an anxiety disorder were ," says Lorena Fernández de la Cruz, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience.

The researchers concluded that patients with OCD are at significant risk of suicide, even in the absence of other psychiatric conditions, which clinicians should be aware of. Suicide risk must be closely monitored in these patients, especially in those who have previously attempted suicide. These results are a first step towards the design of preventive strategies aimed at preventing fatal consequences in patients with OCD.


Explore further

Suicide rate is 22 percent higher among people with epilepsy than the general population

More information: L Fernández de la Cruz et al. Suicide in obsessive–compulsive disorder: a population-based study of 36 788 Swedish patients, Molecular Psychiatry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/mp.2016.115
Journal information: Molecular Psychiatry

Citation: Patients with OCD are 10 times more likely to commit suicide (2016, July 19) retrieved 18 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-patients-ocd-commit-suicide.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 20, 2016
OCD is another pheromone-associated sociopathy. This and onychophagia can be alleviated without sequelae by oral administration of 250mg of healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid paternal pheromone.
The collected pheromone gives off Zenite Gas (yes a Star Trek reference), so treat it with proper respect, otherwise you will give up, even after great success, and be happy you failed. Seriously people. Use barrier packaging, use organic face masks, fume hoods, patient isolation (patients dosed reek for 40 days and nights).

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more