The association between dyslipidemia and lethality of suicide attempts: A case-control study

Andrea Aguglia, Paola Solano, Gabriele Giacomini, Matilde Caprino, Claudia Conigliaro, Miroslav Romano, Eugenio Aguglia, Gianluca Serafini, Mario Amore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence supports the existence of an association between dyslipidemia, psychiatric disorders, and suicide risk due to the effects of altered lipid profiles on serotoninergic neuron membranes. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in c-reactive protein (CRP), thyroid functioning, total cholesterol, high lipoprotein density cholesterol (HDL-c), low-lipoprotein density cholesterol (LDL-c), and triglycerides (TG) serum levels in low lethality (LLSA) vs. high lethality suicide attempters (HLSA) within 24 h fromthe suicide attempt and inpatients who never attempted suicide (NAS). After attempting suicide, subjects were admitted to the emergency ward of the IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino and later to the section of Psychiatry from 1st August 2013 to 31st July 2018. Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, serum lipids profile, CRP, and thyroid functioning were collected. The sample consisted of 133 individuals with a HLSA, 299 subjects with LLSA, and 200 patients NAS. HLSA subjects were more likely to be males and diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder. Furthermore, HLSA subgroup showed significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL-c levels and higher CRP serum levels compared to LLSA and control group, respectively. LLSA subgroup showed higher HDL-c levels compared to HLSA subgroup (no differences between HLSA and control group were observed). Additionally, the control group reported higher triglycerides levels compared to patients admitted to psychiatric ward for a suicide attempt. Only male gender, having a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, lower total cholesterol, and higher CRP serum levels predicted HLSA. Investigating the relation between dyslipidemia and the severity of suicide attempts may contribute to reveal the complex determinants underlying at-risk behaviors such as suicide, thus playing a relevant role in the possible prevention of this disabling phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • -c reactive protein
  • Cholesterol
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Inflammation
  • Lethality
  • Metabolic profile
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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