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Medical News and Perspectives
July 24/31, 2013

Lithium May Decrease Suicide Risk

JAMA. 2013;310(4):360. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.74699

Lithium, a drug often used to treat mania in people with bipolar disorder, may also decrease suicide risk in patients being treated for mood disorders.

Almost one-third of individuals in the United States will at some time have a mood disorder, and those with the diagnosis have a risk of suicide 10 times higher than those in the nonpsychiatric population. In men admitted to psychiatric hospitals with bipolar disorder and a history of deliberate self harm, the risk of suicide is 26 times higher than in the nonpsychiatric population.

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