Absence of association between the level of lethality and the recidivism of suicide attempts in a Spanish province

María Irigoyen-Otiñano, Margarita Puigdevall-Ruestes, María Mur-Laín, Ana González-Pinto, María J. Portella, Enrique Baca-García, Jorge Lopez-Castroman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

4 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Suicidal behaviour is a major health problem in Spain. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between the recurrence of suicide attempts and the level of lethality reached, and the profile of repeaters who perform more lethal attempts. METHOD: All patients admitted for attempted suicide in a health area of 360,000 inhabitants from 2009 to 2014 (N=711) were systematically assessed. We compared clinical and demographic characteristics of these patients in terms of lethality (low versus moderate-severe) and recidivism (1-2 attempts versus >2 attempts) using univariate analyses and regression models. Later, we repeated the analyses after distributing the sample into four groups depending on the presence or absence of high lethality and/or recidivism. RESULTS: Recidivism was associated with the middle-age group (35-65 years), the lack of professional activity, and personality or substance use disorders. Lethality was associated with male gender, extreme age-groups, the use of a violent method, and affective disorders, but not with recidivism. Multiple suicide attempts and high lethality in a single patient was associated with 35-65 years age-group, male gender, violent methods, mental disorders, and inactivity. CONCLUSIONS: Different demographic and clinical factors indicate an increased risk of medical lethality and recurrence in suicidal patients. Our results show that at least some recidivist patients end up making more lethal and violent attempts with the passage of time, especially if they have psychiatric comorbidity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-189
JournalActas Espanolas de Psiquiatria
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


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