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Suicide, Attempted Suicide, and Relapse Rates in Depression:  Occurrence After ECT and Antidepressant Therapy

David Avery, MD; George Winokur, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(6):749-753. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770300091010.
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• Suicide, attempted suicide, and relapse rates in 519 depressives were examined, comparing the effects of different treatments. After six months, suicide attempts were seen significantly less frequently in the ECT groups (0.8%) than in the antidepressant group (4.2%) or the "adequate" antidepressant subgroup (7.0%) Fewer suicide attempts occurred in the ECT group compared to the antidepressant group among both in those who had attempted suicide prior to admission (0% vs 10%) and in those who had not (1.1% vs 3.6%). A history of attempted suicide showed a greater risk of both suicide (2.9%) in the following year and subsequent suicide attempt (5.9%). A depressive diagnosis may be as good a predictor of suicidal behavior as a history of attempted suicide.

Relapse rates did not differ between treatment groups.


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