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Traumatic brain injury may be associated with increased risk of suicide

August 14, 2018

Bottom Line: An increased risk of suicide was associated with those residents of Denmark who sought medical attention for traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared with the general population without TBI in a study that used data from Danish national registers. A history of TBI has been associated with higher rates of self-harm, suicide and death than the general population. This observational study included nearly 35,000 deaths by suicide over 35 years, of which 3,536 (10.2 percent) had medical contact for TBI recorded as mild TBI (concussion), skull fracture without documented TBI, and severe TBI (head injuries with evidence of structural brain injury). The risk for suicide was higher among people with severe TBI, numerous medical contacts for TBI and longer hospital stays, with these patients at highest risk for suicide in the the first six months after hospital discharge. The study has several limitations, including no information on treatment received by patients with TBI and some people may not have sought medical treatment for TBI.
-end-
Authors: Trine Madsen, Ph.D., Danish Research Institute of Suicide Prevention, Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark and coauthors

Related material: The editorial, "Traumatic Brain Injury and Risk of Suicide," by Lee Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, and Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, is also available on the For The Media website.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10211)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Want to embed a link to this study in your story? Link will be live at the embargo time: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/10.1001/jama.2018.10211

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