Diabetes related suicide rare: study

Risk factors

11 Sep 2015

Diabetes related suicide is a rare event in Australia but risk may be raised in people with type 1 diabetes, research suggests.

The community-based analysis of data from the Fremantle Diabetes Phase I study found the suicide rate was not significantly higher among people with diabetes compared to matched controls without diabetes (0.5% vs 0.6%).

However although the study did not have the statistical power to perform valid multivariate analysis the figures suggested that suicide was significantly associated with type 1 diabetes (and hence insulin use), a higher frequency of retinopathy and greater antidepressant use, reported the researchers led by Wendy Davies from the University of Western Australia.

“These findings are in agreement with published data which consistently show that younger people with type 1 diabetes are at a higher risk of suicide compared with matched groups without diabetes or the general population, albeit with typically non significant results reflecting small numbers of cases,” they wrote in the Internal Medicine Journal.

The relationship between suicide and antidepressant use also required further study: “since active screening for, and effective management of depression represented an opportunity to reduce the incidence of this tragic outcome,” they concluded.

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