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It is unclear whether there is a direct link between economic crises and changes in suicide rates.
The Lopez-Ibor Foundation launched an initiative to study the possible impact of the economic crisis on European suicide rates.
Data was gathered and analysed from 29 European countries and included the number of deaths by suicide in men and women, the unemployment rate, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the annual economic growth rate and inflation.
There was a strong correlation between suicide rates and all economic indices except GPD per capita in men but only a correlation with unemployment in women. However, the increase in suicide rates occurred several months before the economic crisis emerged.
Overall, this study confirms a general relationship between the economic environment and suicide rates; however, it does not support there being a clear causal relationship between the current economic crisis and an increase in the suicide rate.
Introduction: Despite numerous explanatory hypotheses, few studies have involved a large national clinical sample examining risk factors in the occurrence of rapid cycling during the course of bipolar illness.
Methods: From 1,090 manic bipolar I disorder inpatients included in a multicenter national study in France, 958 could be classified as rapid or non-rapid cyclers and assessed for demographic, illness course, clinical, psychometric, temperament, comorbidity, and treatment characteristics.
Results: Rapid cycling bipolar disorder occurred in 9% (n=86) of the study group. Compared to nonrapid cyclers (n=872), patients with rapid cycling experienced the onset of their illness at a younger age, a higher number of prior episodes, more depression during the first episode, and more suicide attempts. At study entry, they also experienced manic episodes with more depressive and anxious symptoms, but less psychotic features. The following independent variables were associated with rapid cycling: longer duration of illness, antidepressant treatment, episodes with no free intervals, cyclothymic temperament, lower scores on the Scale for Assessment of Positive Symptoms and presence of thyroid disorder. Retrospective study limited to bipolar I disorder inpatients; several factors previously associated with rapid cycling were not assessed.
Conclusion: Our findings may confirm previous descriptions, according to which rapid-cycling develops later in the course of illness following a sensitization process triggered by antidepressant use or thyroid dysfunction, in patients with a depression-mania-free interval course, and cyclothymic temperament.
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