Suicide Following Stroke in the United States Veterans Health Administration Population

In the United States (US), suicide is a leading cause of death, and most of these suicides involve firearms, highlighting the importance of lethal means safety in suicide prevention.(1, 2) US Veterans experience a suicide rate 1.5 times higher than US civilian adults and are more likely to use firearms as the means of suicide.(3) Risk factors for suicide within this population include demographic factors such as sex, age, race, and level of education, as well as health factors such as smoking status, psychiatric conditions (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, alcohol or other substance abuse conditions), traumatic brain injury (TBI), activity limitations (e.g., difficulty working or attending school), chronic pain, and chronic, physical health conditions (e.g., diabetes, cerebrovascular disease).(4, 5) Large, general population studies in Denmark and Sweden have demonstrated an increased risk of suicide following stroke compared to patients without a history of stroke, ranging from 1.3 to 2 fold.(6-9) Despite the fact that stroke is a leading cause of chronic disability, the association between stroke and suicide has not been evaluated at a large population level in the US, nor within the US Veteran population.(10)
Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - Category: Rehabilitation Authors: Tags: Original Research Source Type: research