Psychopharmacological treatment and psychiatric morbidity in 390 cases of suicide with special focus on affective disorders

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2001 Dec;104(6):458-65. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2001.00191.x.


Objective: The aim of this study was, on the basis of data from health-care registers, to describe the adequacy of psychopharmacological treatment in suicides.

Method: Data on consecutive suicides in a Danish County (Funen) in the period of 1 April 1991-31 December 1995 were identified in the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, the National Patient Register, the National Health Insurance and Odense University Pharmacoepidemiological Database.

Results: Twenty-five per cent of the suicides previously hospitalized due to affective disorders and 3% of the suicides without psychiatric hospitalizations at all, received an apparently adequate treatment with antidepressants the month before suicide.

Conclusion: The most striking finding was the insufficiency of treatment with antidepressants in the group of suicides without psychiatric hospitalization, in particular in light of the fact that depression is assumed to be present in at least 50% of all suicides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Data Collection
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services / standards
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Registries
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Psychotropic Drugs