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Risk factors of suicide in inpatients and recently discharged patients with affective disorders. A case-control study

  • E.H. Høyer (a1), R.W. Licht (a2) and P.B. Mortensen (a3)



Patients with affective disorders are at high risk of suicide, especially during inpatient treatment and during the first year after discharge.


A blinded case-control design was used. The study included a total national sample of patients with affective disorder admitted during the period from January 1, 1994 to December 31, 1995, who died because of suicide, either during admission or shortly after discharge.


A history of suicide attempt was a significant risk factor (IRR 4.9; 95% CI 2.1–11.6). Loss of job during the year prior to the index admission was associated with an increase in suicide risk (IRR: 2.9; 95% CI 1.2–7.5). Clinical improvement during the index admission (IRR: 0.3; 95% CI 0.1–0.7), and treatment with antidepressant drugs at the censoring date (IRR: 0.3; 95% CI 0.1–0.7) were associated with a decrease in suicide risk.


Improved treatment may be a key factor in suicide prevention in patients during, and shortly after hospitalisation with affective disorders. Also, there is a need to be especially aware of suicide risk in patients with little or no improvement at discharge.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Gerontopsyciatric Department, University Hospital in Risskov, Skovagervej 2, 8240 Risskov, Denmark. E-mail address:


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Risk factors of suicide in inpatients and recently discharged patients with affective disorders. A case-control study

  • E.H. Høyer (a1), R.W. Licht (a2) and P.B. Mortensen (a3)


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Risk factors of suicide in inpatients and recently discharged patients with affective disorders. A case-control study

  • E.H. Høyer (a1), R.W. Licht (a2) and P.B. Mortensen (a3)
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