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Risk of adolescent offspring's completed suicide increases with prior history of their same-sex parents' death by suicide

  • C.-C. J. Cheng (a1), W.-J. Yen (a2), W.-T. Chang (a3), K. C.-C. Wu (a4) (a5), M.-C. Ko (a3) (a6) (a7) and C.-Y. Li (a8) (a9)...



To investigate the risk of completed suicide in offspring during adolescence in relation to prior history of the same-sex parent's death by suicide and other causes.


A total of 500 adolescents who died by suicide at age 15–19 years between 1997 and 2007 were identified from the Taiwan Mortality Registration (TMR). For each case, 30 age- and time-matched controls were selected randomly from all adolescents registered in the Taiwan Birth Registry (TBR). A multivariate conditional logistic regression model was used to assess the risk of adolescent completed suicide in relation to their same-sex parent.


Adolescent suicide risk was positively associated with both paternal [odds ratio (OR) 5.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.17–13.33] and maternal suicide (OR 6.59, 95% CI 1.82–23.91). The corresponding risk estimates associated with paternal and maternal deaths from non-suicidal causes were much lower, at 1.88 and 1.94 respectively. The risk of suicide in male adolescents was significantly associated with prior history of paternal death by suicide (OR 8.23, 95% CI 2.96–22.90) but not of maternal death by suicide (OR 3.50, 95% CI 0.41–30.13). On the other contrary, the risk of suicidal death in female adolescents was significantly associated with prior history of maternal suicide (OR 9.71, 95% CI 1.89–49.94) but not of paternal suicide (OR 2.42, 95% CI 0.30–19.57). However, these differences did not reach statistical significance.


Although limited by sample size, our study indicates that adolescent offspring suicidal death is associated with prior history of their same-sex parent's death by suicide.


Corresponding author

* Address for correspondence: M.-C. Ko, M.D., M.Sc., Department of Surgery, Taipei City Hospital, 145 Zheng Zhou Road, Taipei 103, Taiwan. (Email:


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Risk of adolescent offspring's completed suicide increases with prior history of their same-sex parents' death by suicide

  • C.-C. J. Cheng (a1), W.-J. Yen (a2), W.-T. Chang (a3), K. C.-C. Wu (a4) (a5), M.-C. Ko (a3) (a6) (a7) and C.-Y. Li (a8) (a9)...


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