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January 1980

Female Physicians and Primary Affective Disorderppp-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA 90033

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(1):111. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780140113015

In 1968, Craig and Pitts reported the novel and surprising finding that American female physicians committed suicide at about four times the expected frequency of American white women over the age of 25 years, and they calculated that the morbidity for affective disorder among American female physicians was about 60%. This calculation depended on several assumptions: (1) the morbidity of death by suicide for women with affective disorder that has been calculated in many follow-up studies (10% of deaths of women with affective disorder are by suicide, and since about 10% of women have affective disorder, only about 1% of deaths of women are by suicide) applies to female physicians as well; (2) there are two groups known to contain great numbers of suicides: persons with affective disorder and drug-alcohol abusers; however, they are really only one group by reason that drug-alcohol abuse with suicide really represents affective disorder with