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February 1993

Suicide Attempts in Patients With Panic Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Psychiatry Departments, Hôpital Bichat (Dr Lepine and Mrs Teherani) and Hôpital Louis Mourier (Dr Chignon), Paris, France.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(2):144-149. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820140070008

• In a clinical sample of 100 outpatients with panic disorder, 42% had a history of suicide attempt. Female sex and being single, divorced, or widowed were associated with an increased risk of suicide attempt. Thirty-one (73.8%) of the suicide attempts occurred after the first panic attack and 27 (64.3%) after the onset of panic disorder. Eighty-eight of these patients met DSM-III-R criteria for at least one other diagnosis in addition to panic disorder. Moreover, 52% had a history of major depressive episode and 31% had a lifetime diagnosis of alcohol and/or other substance abuse. Compared with those who did not attempt suicide, those who attempted suicide were significantly more likely to have suffered from major depressive episode and alcohol or other substance abuse in their lifetime. Among the 35 patients with no comorbidity with either major depression or addictive behaviors, 17.1 % had a history of suicide attempt. All had suffered from depressive symptoms and/or a personality disorder. The same association was found in four of 19 patients suffering from panic disorder only with or without agoraphobia.