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The role of COMT gene Val108/158Met polymorphism in suicidal behavior: systematic review and updated meta-analysis

Authors González-Castro TB, Hernández-Díaz Y, Juárez-Rojop IE, López-Narváez ML, Tovilla-Zárate CA, Ramirez-Bello J, Pérez-Hernández N, Genis-Mendoza AD, Fresan A, Guzmán-Priego CG

Received 25 April 2018

Accepted for publication 12 July 2018

Published 28 September 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2485—2496


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Thelma Beatriz González-Castro,1 Yazmín Hernández-Díaz,1 Isela Esther Juárez-Rojop,2 María Lilia López-Narváez,3 Carlos Alfonso Tovilla-Zárate,4 Julian Ramírez-Bello,5 Nonanzit Pérez-Hernández,6 Alma Delia Genis-Mendoza,7 Ana Fresan,8 Crystell Guadalupe Guzmán-Priego2

1Multidisciplinary Academic Division of Jalpa de Méndez, Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco, Jalpa de Méndez, Tabasco, Mexico; 2Multidisciplinary Academic Division of Health Sciences, Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico; 3General Hospital of Yajalon, Ministry of Health, Yajalon, Chiapas, Mexico; 4Multidisciplinary Academic Division of Comalcalco, Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco, Comalcalco, Tabasco, Mexico; 5Research Unit, Juárez Hospital of Mexico, Ministry of Health, Mexico City, Mexico; 6Department of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Cardiology, Mexico City, Mexico; 7Psychiatric Care Services, National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN), Health Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mexico City, Mexico; 8Sub-direction of Clinical Research, Children’s Psychiatric Hospital “Dr. Juan N. Navarro”, Mexico City, Mexico

Background: It is accepted that there is a genetic factor that influences the risk of suicidal behavior. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, especially the Val108/158Met polymorphism, has been associated with suicide; however, no conclusive outcome has been attained. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the role of COMT Val108/158Met in suicidal behavior throughout an updated meta-analysis.
Methods: We performed an online search using PubMed and Web of Science (up to March 2017). Our systematic review included case-control studies of individuals who attempted suicide and completed suicide. We tested allelic, homozygous, heterozygous, dominant, and recessive inheritance models. The meta-analysis was performed in accordance with the statement of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.
Results: The meta-analysis comprised 17 studies, which included 3,282 cases and 3,774 controls, and showed that when evaluating the overall population, the Val108/158Met polymorphism of COMT was not associated with suicidal behavior in any of the inheritance models; however, the subanalyses showed that this polymorphism exhibits a risk factor in males and a protective effect in females. Additionally, it conveyed a risk factor in Asian populations when using the allelic (OR 1.25; CI: 1.04–1.51) and recessive models (OR 1.32; CI: 1.03–1.68).
Conclusion: Our updated meta-analysis suggests a possible association between COMT Val108/158Met and suicidal behavior in Asian populations. However, in view of the small number of studies, these results should be considered exploratory. We recommend that more studies be performed with larger samples.

Keywords: suicide, epidemiology, mental health, risk factors

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