Low serum cholesterol in suicide attempters

Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Jan 15;41(2):196-200. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3223(95)00672-9.


Previous studies have shown an association between low serum cholesterol concentration and suicide; however, conflicting results have also been reported. To examine this potential association, cholesterol levels in 99 patients admitted to an emergency ward following an attempted suicide were compared with those in 74 nonsuicidal psychiatric inpatients, and those in 39 psychiatrically normal individuals with accidental injuries. Cholesterol concentrations in suicide attempters were found to be significantly lower compared with both psychiatric and normal controls, when sex, age, psychiatric diagnosis, and physical conditions (serum total protein and red blood cell count) were adjusted for. This significant relationship was observed in mood disorders and personality or neurotic disorders, but not in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. These results support the previous claim that lower cholesterol level is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / blood
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*


  • Cholesterol