Specific traumatic events elevate the risk of a suicide attempt in a 10-year longitudinal community study on adolescents and young adults

Traumatic events (TEs) have been associated with suicide attempts (SAs). However, the empirical status of some TEs is inconclusive. This also concerns community adolescents and young adults, known to be a high-risk group for SAs. We examined associations between (a) a range of prior TEs (physical attack, rape/sexual abuse, serious accident, and witnessing somebody else experiencing a TE) and a subsequent SA, and (b) the number of prior TEs and an SA, and (c) we estimated attributable proportions of SAs, in relation to each TE. Over a 10-year period, the Early Developmental Stages of Psychopathology (EDSP) study prospectively assessed community members, aged 14–24 years at baseline. Starting with 3021 subjects, each individual was assessed up to four times. Assessment was based on the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Temporal associations were estimated using the Cox model with time-dependent covariates. Attributable proportions were based on the results of the Cox models. All four TEs elevated the risk for a subsequent SA, adjusting for confounders. Highest risk was found for the combined TE rape/sexual abuse. Results showed that 56–90% of SAs could be attributed to TEs in the exposed group; on the population level, attributable proportions ranged between 6.9% and 23.5%. Different TEs have been shown to elevate the risk of an SA in a young community sample. Our results suggest that both health professionals and health policy decision-makers consider specific TEs and the number of prior TEs as risk factors for SAs.

Marcel Miché, Patrizia Denise Hofer, Catharina Voss, Andrea Hans Meyer, Andrew Thomas Gloster, Katja Beesdo-Baum, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen & Roselind Lieb | 2020
In: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, ISSN : 1435-165X | 29 | 1 | 179-186
Accidents, Adolescents, Children, Community, Longitudinal Study, Natural Disasters, Predictors, Psychopathology, Research, Suicidality, Traumatic events, War, Witnesses, Young Adults