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Comment & Response
February 2017

Association Between Hospitalization for Infection and Suicide

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(2):198. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3114

To the Editor In discussing the causal links that could explain their intriguing finding of a 42% increased risk of death by suicide among people hospitalized with infection, Lund-Sørensen and colleagues1 consider possibilities including inflammation, immune system alteration, and the effects of antibiotics on the bacterial microbiome. One interesting possibility they did not mention is that suicide could be a downstream result of the toxic effects of antibiotic treatment on mitochondria. A relationship between antibiotic mitochondrial toxicity and suicide could be mediated by depression, which has been associated with mitochondrial dysfunction through studies of patients, postmortem brain, and animal models of depression.2

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