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Suicide risk after a suicide attempt

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 19 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2512
  1. Udo Reulbach, senior researcher1,
  2. Stefan Bleich, medical director and head of department2
  1. 1National Suicide Research Foundation. College Road, Cork, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School of Hannover, 30625 Hannover, Germany
  1. udo.nsrf{at}

    Is highest in people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

    Two linked studies explore the risk of non-fatal self harm after discharge from a psychiatric hospital and the factors associated with the risk of suicide after a suicide attempt.1 2 Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death worldwide and will represent about 2.4% of the global burden of disease by 2020, with about 1.5 million people dying from suicide each year.3 Making the prevention of suicide a health service and public health priority is justified on medical, ethical, and cost effectiveness grounds.4 5

    Previous attempts at suicide increase the risk of suicide 30-40 times.6 A history of deliberate self harm is the strongest predictor of future suicidal behaviour.7 A systematic review found that 16% of patients who attended an accident and …

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