Repeated suicidal behaviour: Stressful life events and 5-HTTLPR genetic polymorphism

Giulia Schillani, Serena Goljevscek, Davide Carlino, Maurizio De Vanna, Eugenio Aguglia, Tullio Giraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stressful life events and dysregulated mono-aminergic neurotransmission have been associated with suicidal behaviour. The aim of this investigation was to analyze suicidal behaviour in multiple attempters in relation to the stressful life events, and to the polymorphism of the serotonin transporter (SERT) gene. Multiple suicide attempters, admitted to the University Psychiatric Clinic, were interviewed for the number of previous suicide attempts and for the occurrence of stressful life events, recorded in a Life History Calendar. The patients were further genotyped for 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of SERT. The number of suicide attempts was found to be significantly correlated with the number of negative life events experienced during the 6 months preceding each suicide attempt. The L/L genotype was associated with a reduced number of multiple suicide attempts. These results should prompt future study with a larger number of subjects to further investigate the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in repeated suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-232
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Repeated suicidal behaviour
  • Serotonin transporter
  • Stressful life events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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