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Suicidal ideation and the risk of suicide in patients with fibromyalgia: a comparison with non-pain controls and patients suffering from low-back pain

Authors Jimenez-Rodríguez I, Garcia-Leiva J, Jimenez-Rodriguez B, Condés-Moreno E, Rico-Villademoros F, Calandre E

Received 15 November 2013

Accepted for publication 4 February 2014

Published 16 April 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 625—630


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Irene Jimenez-Rodríguez,1 Juan Miguel Garcia-Leiva,1 Beatriz M Jimenez-Rodriguez,2 Emilia Condés-Moreno,3 Fernando Rico-Villademoros,1 Elena P Calandre1

1Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain; 2Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain; 3Departamento de Especialidades Biomédicas, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Villaviciosa de Odón, Spain

Abstract: Fibromyalgia is associated with an increased rate of mortality from suicide. In fact, this disease is associated with several characteristics that are linked to an increased risk of suicidal behaviors, such as being female and experiencing chronic pain, psychological distress, and sleep disturbances. However, the literature concerning suicidal behaviors and their risk factors in fibromyalgia is sparse. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the prevalence of suicidal ideation and the risk of suicide in a sample of patients with fibromyalgia compared with a sample of healthy subjects and a sample of patients with chronic low-back pain. We also aimed to evaluate the relevance of pain intensity, depression, and sleep quality as variables related to suicidal ideation and risks. Logistic regression was applied to estimate the likelihood of suicidal ideation and the risk of suicide adjusted by age and sex. We also used two logistic regression models using age, sex, pain severity score, depression severity, sleep quality, and disease state as independent variables and using the control group as a reference. Forty-four patients with fibromyalgia, 32 patients with low-back pain, and 50 controls were included. Suicidal ideation, measured with item 9 of the Beck Depression Inventory, was almost absent among the controls and was low among patients with low-back pain; however, suicidal ideation was prominent among patients with fibromyalgia (P<0.0001). The risk of suicide, measured with the Plutchik Suicide Risk Scale, was also higher among patients with fibromyalgia than in patients with low-back pain or in controls (P<0.0001). The likelihood for suicidal ideation and the risk of suicide were higher among patients with fibromyalgia (odds ratios of 26.9 and 48.0, respectively) than in patients with low-back pain (odds ratios 4.6 and 4.7, respectively). Depression was the only factor associated with suicidal ideation or the risk of suicide.

Keywords: chronic low-back pain, suicidal risk, depression

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