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Adults Diagnosed With Concussion May Be at Heightened Long-Term Risk of Suicide
Adults who have been diagnosed with a concussion may be at a heightened long-term risk of suicide, reports a
published today in the
Canadian Medical Association Journal
. According to the authors, the findings suggest that a history of concussion may be relevant when assessing a patient's suicide risk.
Donald Redelmeier, M.D., of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto and colleagues examined 235,110 records of patients in Ontario who had a concussion between 1992 and 2012. During the follow-up period, 667 suicides occurred, equivalent to 31 deaths per 100,000 patients annually—three times the population norm.
Weekend concussions (considered more likely to be caused by recreational injuries) were associated with a one-third further increased risk of suicide compared with weekday concussions (considered more likely to be caused by occupational injuries). For people with a prior suicide attempt, a psychiatric or substance use disorder, or multiple concussions, this risk was even higher; however, even individuals who met none of these criteria still had double the long-term suicide risk following a concussion.
“[C]oncussions are rarely deemed relevant for consideration by psychiatrists or other physicians when eliciting a patient’s history,” the authors wrote. “Greater attention to the long-term implications of a concussion in community settings might save lives because deaths from suicide can be prevented.”
For related information, see the
Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
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