Genetic studies of suicidal behavior

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1997 Sep;20(3):595-611. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70332-4.


Suicidal behavior, like so much else in psychiatry, tends to cluster in families. Clinical studies show that a family history of suicide is associated with a raised risk of both attempts at suicide and completed suicide. Twin studies show that monozygotic twins have a greater concordance of suicidal behavior than dizygotic twins. Adoption studies also suggest that there may be genetic factors in suicide. Most recently, molecular genetic studies report that polymorphisms of the tryptophan hydroxylase gene are associated with suicidal behavior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adoption
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / genetics
  • Twin Studies as Topic
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics
  • Twins, Monozygotic / psychology


  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase