[Attempted suicide and alcohol dependence: results of an epidemiologic survey]

Encephale. 1998 Jul-Aug;24(4):347-54.
[Article in French]


Objectives: The relationship between alcoholism and suicidal behaviour has long been recognized. The present study examined the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in alcoholic patients and the impact of comorbidity, namely with depressive anxiety disorders and antisocial personnalit disorder in alcoholic patients who attempted suicide.

Methods: In a cross-sectional design including outpatients referring for alcohol dependance according to DSM III-R criteria, we used a specific standardized and structured interview allowing DSM III-R diagnoses.

Results: We include 507 patients (343 males of 164 females). The mean age at the intake of the study was 43.2 (SD:9.6) years without difference between males and females. 129 patients (25.4%) had attempted suicide during their lifetime. The proportion of female was found higher than males among suicide attempters (41.9 vs 29.3%; p < or = 0.001). Age of onset of alcoholism was found younger in suicide attempters than non (p < or = 0.01), either in males and females. Moreover, we found that alcoholic suicide attempters more often reported family histories of alcoholism than did nonattempters. As regard lifetime comorbidity, major depression and drugs misuse were found more frequent in alcoholics who attempted suicide (p < or = 0.001). Moreover, we found a higher prevalence for Panic Disorder and Social Phobia in male suicide attempters.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*