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September 1983

Family History of Suicide

Author Affiliations

From the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Dr Roy is now with the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(9):971-974. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790080053007

• Among 243 patients with a family history of suicide, almost half (118 [48.6%]) had attempted suicide, more than half (137 [56.4%]) had a depressive disorder, and more than a third (84 [34.6%]) had recurrent affective disorder. These 243 patients with a family history of suicide were compared with 5,602 patients with no family history of suicide. A family history of suicide was found to significantly increase the risk for an attempt at suicide in patients with a wide variety of diagnoses: schizophrenia, unipolar and bipolar affective disorders, depressive neurosis, and personality disorders.

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