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Archive for the ‘suicide’ Category

ImageAccording to a study in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry “A cohort study of 84 adults from Sweden showed that those who had been infected with T gondii were seven times more likely to participate in nonfatal, self-directed violence compared with their counterparts who had not been infected.”  T gondii has always been known to be dangerous espically in pregnant women.  It is the causative agent in Toxoplamosis.  It is frequently contracted through eating undercooked meat or comin into contact with cat feces.

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According to MedWire (http://tinyurl.com/allergies-and-suicide 12/23, Davenport)  a history of seasonal allergies is associated with an increased risk for suicide ideation, but not attempts.  Erick Messias (Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, USA) and colleagues explain that previous studies have indicated an association between atopy and mood, and “a seasonality of suicide has also been described.”  The researchers found that a history of seasonal allergies was associated with a statistically significant 1.27-fold increased risk for suicide ideation.  However, a history of seasonal allergies was not associated with a significantly increased risk for suicide attempts, at an odds ratio of 1.17.  Messias and team conclude: “In a large, nationally representative sample of the English speaking US population, history of seasonal allergies was associated with suicidal ideation without attempts.” 

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suicideFollowing a CBS Evening News story, theLos Angeles Times (11/9,  http://tinyurl.com/contagious-suicide, Adams) reports that researchers are seeking “to understand how suicide spreads within communities.” The “term ‘suicide contagion'” is used by experts “to describe the spread of suicidal thoughts among a group of people that results in such copycat acts.” Experts say that “in suicide clusters,” people “already in crisis” are “moved to act by exposure to a peer committing suicide.” Currently, “the CDC provides guidlines ( http://tinyurl.com/youth-suicide-prevention) for schools or other communities about how to respond to one or more suicides, including identifying high-risk individuals and providing counseling,” as well as “reducing any predisposing risks in the school environment, such as bullying or social isolation.”

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cigarettesMedwire(Grasmo http://tinyurl.com/smoking-and-suicide) reports that, according to a study published online Oct. 14 in the journal Bipolar Disorders, “current cigarette smoking is a predictor for current and nine-month suicidal ideation and behavior in” patients with bipolar disorder (BD). After examining “the association between smoking, suicidality, and prospective suicide attempts in 116 BD patients over a nine-month period,” Harvard Medical School researchers found that smokers were “5.25-fold more likely to attempt suicide than nonsmokers (16.1 percent vs. 3.5 percent).”

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golden-gate-bridge-picture-2USA Today (10/12, Welsh) reports that California’s the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge “is one of several bridges around the country known as places where people choose to end their lives in a final leap and where efforts are underway — sometimes against strong local opposition — to install fences, nets, or other physical barriers to stop jumpers.” For example, “an average of two people a month jump to their deaths” from the “Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, often called the No. 1 suicide site in the world.” Now, “after decades of debate, local authorities have agreed to install a steel net 20 feet below the 1.7 mile long span.” Notably, “a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry” found that “barriers at bridges in four cities…reduced suicides” without diverting suicide activity to other nearby places.

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HealthDay (5/18, Preidt) reported, “Overweight teens, or those who believe they are, are more likely than other teens to attempt suicide,” according to a study appearing in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Investigators “looked at more than 14,000 high school students to determine if there’s a link between suicide attempts and body mass index (BMI), as well as a teen’s belief that he or she might be overweight — whether it’s true or not.” The researchers found that both male and female teenagers “who were overweight and those who believed they were overweight were more likely to attempt suicide than those who weren’t and those who didn’t believe they were overweight.” Lead researcher Monica Swahn, associate dean for research at College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia State University, said, “Our findings show that both perceived and actual overweight increase risk for suicide attempt.”

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BBC News (5/1) reported that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, “drinking water which contains the element lithium may reduce the risk of suicide.” For the study, researchers from Japan’s Universities of Oita and Hiroshima “examined levels of lithium in drinking water and suicide rates in the prefecture of Oita, which has a population of more than one million,” and found that “the suicide rate was significantly lower in those areas with the highest levels of the element.” In fact, “even relatively low levels appeared to have a positive impact [on] suicide rates.” The team speculated that levels as low as “0.7 to 59 micrograms per liter” may provide “a cumulative protective effect on the brain from years of drinking this tap water.” But, while the authors “called for further research in other countries…they stopped short of any suggestion that lithium be added to drinking water.”

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