Clinical and genetic factors associated with suicide in mood disorder patients

Niki Antypa, Daniel Souery, Mario Tomasini, Diego Albani, Federica Fusco, Julien Mendlewicz, Alessandro Serretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Suicidality is a continuum ranging from ideation to attempted and completed suicide, with a complex etiology involving both genetic heritability and environmental factors. The majority of suicide events occur in the context of psychiatric conditions, preeminently major depression and bipolar disorder. The present study investigates clinical factors associated with suicide in a sample of 553 mood disorder patients, recruited within the ‘Psy Pluriel’ center, Centre Européen de Psychologie Médicale, and the Department of Psychiatry of Erasme Hospital (Brussels). Furthermore, genetic association analyses examining polymorphisms within COMT, BDNF, MAPK1 and CREB1 genes were performed in a subsample of 259 bipolar patients. The presence or absence of a previous suicide attempt and of current suicide risk were assessed. A positive association with suicide attempt was reported for younger patients, females, lower educated, smokers, those with higher scores on depressive symptoms and higher functional disability and those with anxiety comorbidity and familial history of suicidality in first- and second-degree relatives. Anxiety disorder comorbidity was the stronger predictor of current suicide risk. No associations were found with polymorphisms within COMT and BDNF genes, whereas significant associations were found with variations in rs13515 (MAPK1) and rs6740584 (CREB1) polymorphisms. From a clinical perspective, our study proposes several clinical characteristics, such as increased depressive symptomatology, anxiety comorbidity, functional disability and family history of suicidality, as correlates associated with suicide. Genetic risk variants in MAPK1 and CREB1 genes might be involved in a dysregulation of inflammatory and neuroplasticity pathways and are worthy of future investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • Genetic association study
  • Mood disorder
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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