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Suicide Attempts and Completions in Patients With Bipolar Disorder

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - According to the CDC, in 2004, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death across all age groups and the 10th leading cause of death for persons aged 14 to 64 years; 32,439 people in the United States took their own lives.1 Women attempt suicide about 3 times more often than men, although men are 4 times as likely to complete suicide.2 Anderson and Smith3 reported that suicide was the eighth leading cause of death among men in 2001. Of the 24,672 completed suicides among men, 60% involved the use of a firearm (the use of a firearm was the means of suicide in 55% of all cases).3

Both "static" and "dynamic" factors have an impact on the rates of suicide. Static factors are associated with increased and decreased risks for self-harm. They are not causal but merely increase or decrease the probability of self-harm. Listed in the approximate rank order of risk, the static predictors of risk for a suicide attempt and completed suicide for persons with psychiatric illnesses, as well as some of the more important static protectors, are presented in the Table. Dynamic factors have to do with clinical states, which are subject to dramatic change within narrow time frames—hence, "dynamic."

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