The high prevalence of suicide in schizophrenia may be related to its demographic and clinical characteristics. Because suicide prevalence and its associations with clinical variables are less well characterized in Chinese than European patients with schizophrenia, we assessed the suicide attempts in 520 Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia. The suicide attempt data were collected from medical case notes and interviews with the patients and their family members. Patients were rated on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Simpson and Angus Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale (SAES), and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS). Smoking severity was evaluated using clinician-administered questionnaires and the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND). We found a suicide attempt rate of 9.2% in these schizophrenic inpatients. The attempters were single, had a significantly younger age but more hospitalizations, had higher depressive symptoms, and began smoking at an earlier age, smoked more cigarettes each day and had higher FTND total scores than patients without suicide attempts. The logistic regression analysis also indicated that suicide attempts were associated with the number of hospitalizations, depressive symptoms and FTND total scores. These results suggest that Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia attempt suicide more often than the general population. Further, some demographic and clinical variables are risk factors for suicide attempts in schizophrenia.
Keywords: China; Risk factors; Schizophrenia; Smoking; Suicide.
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