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People with depression are more likely to commit violent crime, study concludes

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 25 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1083
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

People with depression are three times as likely to commit violent crime as are members of the general population, a new study concludes.

A team led by Seena Fazel of Oxford University linked Swedish health and crime databases to try to establish a link between cases of depression and crimes of violence. The threefold increase (odds ratio 3.0 (95% confidence interval 2.8 to 3.3) took account of possible confounding factors, but as a check the team also compared depressed people with their own non-depressed siblings. This produced a smaller odds ratio of 2.1 (1.8 to 2.4).1

The study, published in Lancet Psychiatry, also showed that depression scores were linked to an increasing risk of violence: the more …

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