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Research Letter |

Association of Systemic Inflammation With Risk of Completed Suicide in the General Population

G. David Batty, DSc1; Steven Bell, PhD2; Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD3; Mika Kivimäki, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, England
2Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
3Charles Perkins Centre and Prevention Research Collaboration, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(9):993-995. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1805.
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This study uses UK national survey data to investigate the association between C-reactive protein levels and risk of suicide.

There is a growing prima facie case for inflammation being associated with suicide. In cohort studies,1 elevated levels of inflammatory markers have been linked to the future occurrence of depression, a known risk factor for suicide. In psychiatric patients, inflammation is positively associated with the intensity of self-reported suicidal ideation,2 and those who commit suicide have higher cytokine levels post mortem relative to control patients.3 Furthermore, individuals with asthma, a condition characterized by inflammation, experience higher rates of suicide mortality than their nonatopic counterparts.4

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Figure.
Suicide Death Rates According to C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Level and Duration of Follow-up

The proportion of deaths by suicide in each of the 3 CRP categories (low [<1 mg/L], intermediate [1-3 mg/L], or high [>3 mg/L]) over the duration of follow-up (0-17 years). Each step signals at least 1 death by suicide. To convert to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 9.524.

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