Time-related predictors of suicide in major affective disorder

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Sep;147(9):1189-94. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.9.1189.


The authors studied 954 psychiatric patients with major affective disorders and found that nine clinical features were associated with suicide. Six of these--panic attacks, severe psychic anxiety, diminished concentration, global insomnia, moderate alcohol abuse, and severe loss of interest or pleasure (anhedonia)--were associated with suicide within 1 year, and three others--severe hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and history of previous suicide attempts--were associated with suicide occurring after 1 year. These findings draw attention to the importance of 1) standardized prospective data for studies of suicide, 2) assessment of short-term suicide risk factors, and 3) anxiety symptoms as modifiable suicide risk factors within a clinically relevant period.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / complications
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / complications*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Suicide / prevention & control
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Time Factors