Department of Economics and Business Economics

Deliberate self-harm before psychiatric admission and risk of suicide: Survival in a Danish national cohort

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PURPOSE: Psychiatric illness and deliberate self-harm (DSH) are major risk factors of suicide. In largely 15 % of psychiatric admissions in Denmark, the patient had an episode of DSH within the last year before admission. This study examined the survival and predictors of suicide in a suicidal high-risk cohort consisting of hospitalized psychiatric patients with recent DSH. METHODS: This national prospective register-based study examined all hospitalized psychiatric patients who self-harmed within a year before admission. All admitted patients, in the time period 1998-2006, were followed and survival analyses techniques were used to identify predictors of suicide. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 17,257 patients; 520 (3 %) died by suicide during follow-up; 50 % of the suicides occurred within a year from the index admission. A rate of 1,645 suicides per 100,000 person-years in the first year after psychiatric admission was found. Adjusted analyses showed that a higher degree of education, having DSH within a month before psychiatric admission and contact with a private psychiatrist increased the risk of suicide. CONCLUSIONS: Psychiatric hospitalized patients with recent DSH revealed high suicide rates, even during hospitalization. When discharging psychiatric patients with recent DSH careful arrangement of follow-up treatment in the outpatient setting is recommendable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Pages (from-to)1481-1489
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2013

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