Factors associated with lifetime suicide attempts in bipolar disorder: results from an Italian nationwide study

the ISBD Italian Chapter Epidemiologic Group

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The purpose of the present study was to detect demographic and clinical factors associated with lifetime suicide attempts in Bipolar Disorder (BD). A total of 1673 bipolar patients from different psychiatric departments were compared according to the lifetime presence of suicide attempts on demographic/clinical variables. Owing to the large number of variables statistically related to the dependent variable (presence of suicide attempts) at the univariate analyses, preliminary multiple logistic regression analyses were realized. A final multivariable logistic regression was then performed, considering the presence of lifetime suicide attempts as the dependent variable and statistically significant demographic/clinical characteristics as independent variables. The final multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that an earlier age at first contact with psychiatric services (odds ratio [OR] = 0.97, p < 0.01), the presence of psychotic symptoms (OR = 1.56, p < 0.01) or hospitalizations (OR = 1.73, p < 0.01) in the last year, the attribution of symptoms to a psychiatric disorder (no versus yes: OR = 0.71, partly versus yes OR = 0.60, p < 0.01), and the administration of psychoeducation in the last year (OR = 1.49, p < 0.01) were all factors associated with lifetime suicide attempts in patients affected by BD. In addition, female patients resulted to have an increased association with life-long suicidal behavior compared to males (OR: 1.02, p < 0.01). Several clinical factors showed complex associations with lifetime suicide attempts in bipolar patients. These patients, therefore, require strict clinical monitoring for their predisposition to a less symptom stabilization. Future research will have to investigate the best management strategies to improve the prognosis of bipolar subjects presenting suicidal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bipolar Disorder (BD)
  • Clinical features
  • Outcome
  • Suicidal attempts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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