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The association between adjustment disorder diagnosed at psychiatric treatment facilities and completed suicide

Authors Gradus J , Qin P, Lincoln AK, Miller M, Lawler E, Lash TL

Published 16 March 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 23—28


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jaimie L Gradus1,2, Ping Qin3, Alisa K Lincoln4, Matthew Miller5, Elizabeth Lawler6, Timothy L Lash2,7

1National Center for PTSD VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; 2Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; 3National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; 4Health Sciences and Sociology Departments, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 5Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; 6Department of Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA; 7Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

Abstract: Adjustment disorder is a diagnosis given following a significant psychosocial stressor from which an individual has difficulty recovering. The individual’s reaction to this event must exceed what would be observed among similar people experiencing the same stressor. Adjustment disorder is associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. However the association between adjustment disorder and completed suicide has yet to be examined. The current study is a population-based case control study examining this association in the population of Denmark aged 15 to 90 years. All suicides in Denmark from 1994 to 2006 were included, resulting in 9,612 cases. For each case, up to 30 controls were matched on gender, exact date of birth, and calendar time, yielding 199,306 controls. Adjustment disorder diagnosis was found in 7.6% of suicide cases and 0.52% of controls. Conditional logistic regression analyses revealed that those diagnosed with adjustment disorder had 12 times the rate of suicide as those without an adjustment disorder diagnosis, after controlling for history of depression diagnosis, marital status, income, and the matched factors.

Keywords: adjustment disorder, suicide, case-control study

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