Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Stroke patients at heightened risk of attempting suicide

  • Comment

Stroke patients can be up to twice as likely to commit suicide compared with the rest of the population, and the risk of attempted suicide is highest within the first two years after a stroke.

A Swedish study involving 220,336 patients who had a stroke between 2001 and 2012.

During the follow-up period, 1,217 suicide attempts were registered in the patient group, 260 of which died as a result of the attempt.

“The study shows the need of both psychological and social support, as well as concrete measures to prevent suicide attempts, in people who have had a stroke”

Marie Eriksson

The incidence of suicide among those who have had a stroke was double that of the general population, and among patients under 55 years of age, the risk increase is fivefold, said the study authors.

Stroke patients with a low level of education or income had a 37% higher risk of attempting suicide, compared with those with a university education, whereas the corresponding figure for patients who lived alone was 72%.

Stroke patients born outside of Europe, on the other hand, ran half the risk of committing suicide, compared with people born in Europe – possibly because of cultural and religious factors.

Other risk factors for suicide attempts identified in the study were being male, or having had a stroke with severe consequences and experiencing post-stroke depression.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, also showed that the risk of attempted suicide was highest during the first two years after a stroke.

“The study shows the need of both psychological and social support, as well as concrete measures to prevent suicide attempts, in people who have had a stroke,” said study author Marie Eriksson, senior lecturer in public health and clinical medicine at Umeå University.

“The initiatives must also be put in place at an early stage as the risk of attempted suicide is greatest up to two years after a stroke,” she said.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs