Association between completed suicide and bipolar disorder: A systematic review of the literature

L. Plans, C. Barrot, E. Nieto, J. Rios, T. G. Schulze, S. Papiol, M. Mitjans, E. Vieta, A. Benabarre

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Background: Completed suicide is a major cause of death in bipolar disorder (BD) patients.Objective: The aim of this paper is to provide an overall review of the existing literature of completed suicide in BD patients, including clinical and genetic dataData sources: We performed a systematic review of English and non-English articles published on MEDLINE/PubMed, PsycInfo and Cochrane database (1970-2017). Additional studies were identified by contacting clinical experts, searching bibliographies, major textbooks and website of World Health Organization. Initially we did a broad search for the association of bipolar disorder and suicide and we were narrowing the search in terms included "bipolar disorder" and "completed suicide".Study Selection: Inclusion criteria were articles about completed suicide in patients with BD. Articles exclusively focusing on suicide attempts and suicidal behaviour have been excluded. We used PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) consensus for drafting this systematic review.Results: The initial search generated 2806 articles and a total of 61 meeting our inclusion criteria. We reviewed epidemiological data, genetic factors, risk factors and treatment of completed suicide in BD. Suicide rates in BD vary between studies but our analyses show that they are approximately 20-30-fold greater than in general population. The highest risk of successful suicide was observed in BD-II subjects. The heritability of completed suicide is about 40% and some genes related to major neurotransmitter systems have been associated with suicide. Lithium is the only treatment that has shown anti-suicide potential.Limitations: The most important limitation of the present review is the limited existing literature on completed suicide in BD.Conclusions: BD patients are at high risk for suicide. It is possible to identify some factors related to completed suicide, such as early onset, family history of suicide among first-degree relatives, previous attempted suicides, comorbidities and treatment. However it is necessary to promote research on this serious health problem.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)111-122
Nombre de pàgines12
RevistaJournal of Affective Disorders
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de gen. 2019


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