Transcultural differences in suicide attempters: Analysis on a high-risk population of patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder

A. C. Altamura, E. Mundo, R. Bassetti, A. Green, J. P. Lindenmayer, L. Alphs, H. Y. Meltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate transcultural differences between schizophrenia spectrum disorder patients who did or did not attempt suicide. DSM-IV schizophrenia (N = 609) or schizoaffective disorder (N = 371) patients who participated in the multicentre International Suicide Prevention Trial (InterSePT) were studied. Patients were sub-divided into 5 groups according to the different geographical regions of recruitment: North America (NA), Europe (EUR), East Europe (EEUR), South Africa (SAf), and South America (SA). The main lifetime clinical variables were compared, within each group, between attempters and non-attempters. The presence of comorbid substance abuse disorder and smoking was associated with suicide attempts in all the geographical groups considered (NA: χ12 = 7.575, p <0.01 and χ12 = 69.549, p <0.0001; EUR: χ12 = 55.068, p <0.0001, and χ12 = 48.431, p <0.0001; EEUR: χ12 = 164.628, p <0.000, and χ12 = 5.127, p <0.01; SA: χ12 = 30.204, p <0.0001 and χ12 = 11.710, p = 0.001) except for SAf. For the other clinical variables various differences were found across the different groups. Variables related to suicide behavior were similar across the five groups investigated, with differences only in the age at the first suicide attempt (earlier in the NA sample) and the number of lifetime suicide attempts (higher in the NA sample). Results from this study show that, while some suicide-related clinical characteristics in schizophrenia patients are consistent worldwide suggesting the influence of stable biological traits, other variables may vary across different geographical areas suggesting environmental influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume89
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Clinical variables
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicide
  • Transcultural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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