Aims: A potential role for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in the aetiology of suicide has not been comprehensively examined. In addition to being small in scale and poorly characterized, existing studies very rarely sample Asian populations in whom risk factor-suicide relationships may plausibly differ to Caucasian groups. We examined the association between a series of CVD risk factors and future mortality from suicide.
Methods and results: The Korean Cancer Prevention Study is a prospective cohort study comprising 1 234 927 individuals (445 022 women) aged 30-95 years with extensive measurement of established CVD risk factors at baseline and subsequent mortality surveillance. Fourteen years of follow-up gave rise to 472 deaths (389 in men and 83 in women) from suicide. After adjustment for a range of covariates, in men, smoking hazard ratio; 95% CI: (current vs. never: 1.69; 1.27, 2.24), alcohol intake (1-24 g/day vs. none: 1.29; 1.00, 1.66), blood cholesterol (≥ 240 vs. <200 mg/dL: 0.54; 0.36, 0.80), body mass index (underweight vs. normal weight: 2.08; 1.26, 3.45), stature [quartile 1(lowest) vs. 4: 1.68; 1.23, 2.30], socioeconomic status [quartile 1(lowest) vs. 4: 1.65; 1.21, 2.24], and martial status (unmarried vs. other: 1.60; 0.83, 3.06) were related to suicide mortality risk. These associations were generally apparent in women, although of lower magnitude. Exercise and blood pressure were not associated with completed suicide.
Conclusion: In this cohort of Korean men and women, a series of CVD risk factors were associated with an elevated risk of future suicide mortality.