Clinical features of suicide attempts in adults with autism spectrum disorders

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2013 Jan-Feb;35(1):50-3. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.09.006. Epub 2012 Nov 6.


Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency and clinical features of suicide attempts in adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Methods: We enrolled 587 consecutive patients aged 18 or over who attempted suicide and were hospitalized for inpatient treatment. Psychiatric diagnoses, suicide attempt frequency and clinical features were compared between ASD and non-ASD patients.

Results: Forty-three (7.3%) of the 587 subjects who attempted suicide had ASDs. The incidence of patients with mood disorders was significantly lower (Fisher's Exact Test, P=.043) and that of those with an adjustment disorder was significantly higher (Fisher's Exact Test, P<.001) in the ASD group than in the non-ASD group. The average length of stay at both the hospital and intensive care unit in the ASD group was longer than that in the non-ASD group (z=-2.031, P=.042; z=-2.322, P=.020, respectively).

Conclusions: ASDs should always be a consideration when dealing with suicide attempts in adults at the emergency room.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult