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Exposure to suicide is associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among National Guard military personnel.
Compr Psychiatry. 2017 08; 77:12-19.CP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Research suggests that individuals who know someone who died by suicide are at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and recent suicidal thoughts. Studies have not yet investigated the association of suicide exposure with suicide attempts, however, especially among high-risk subgroups of military personnel such as the National Guard.

PROCEDURES

An anonymous online survey was completed by 971 military personnel assigned to the National Guard in Utah and Idaho. Weighted analyses were conducted to ensure demographic matching to the full population. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to test the association of suicide exposure with psychiatric condition, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts.

MAIN FINDINGS

65.4% of National Guard personnel reported knowing someone who had died by suicide. On average, participants knew 3.0 (SD=2.0) suicide decedents. Total number of known suicide decedents was associated with significantly increased risk for PTSD (OR=1.18, p=.008), depression (OR=1.19, p=.003), and suicide ideation (OR=2.48, p<.001), but not suicide attempt (OR=1.34, p=.472). Perceived closeness to the suicide decedent was associated with significantly increased risk for PTSD (OR=1.54, p<.001), depression (OR=1.36, p=.031), suicide ideation (OR=1.24, p=.039), and suicide attempt (OR=1.69, p=.026). The majority of participants who experienced suicidal thoughts and attempts after the suicide exposure had a previous history of suicide ideation.

CONCLUSIONS

Suicide exposure is common among National Guard personnel, and is associated with increased risk for PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Risk is highest for those personnel who know multiple suicide decedents and were closer to the suicide decedent.

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Center for Veterans Studies, 332 S 1400 E, Room 4, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; The University of Utah, 380 S 1530 E, BEHS 502, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. Electronic address: Craig.bryan@utah.edu.University of Kentucky, 627 Patterson Office Tower, Lexington, KY 40506.National Center for Veterans Studies, 332 S 1400 E, Room 4, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; The University of Utah, 380 S 1530 E, BEHS 502, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28549312

Citation

Bryan, Craig J., et al. "Exposure to Suicide Is Associated With Increased Risk for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among National Guard Military Personnel." Comprehensive Psychiatry, vol. 77, 2017, pp. 12-19.
Bryan CJ, Cerel J, Bryan AO. Exposure to suicide is associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among National Guard military personnel. Compr Psychiatry. 2017;77:12-19.
Bryan, C. J., Cerel, J., & Bryan, A. O. (2017). Exposure to suicide is associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among National Guard military personnel. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 77, 12-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.05.006
Bryan CJ, Cerel J, Bryan AO. Exposure to Suicide Is Associated With Increased Risk for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among National Guard Military Personnel. Compr Psychiatry. 2017;77:12-19. PubMed PMID: 28549312.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Exposure to suicide is associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among National Guard military personnel. AU - Bryan,Craig J, AU - Cerel,Julie, AU - Bryan,AnnaBelle O, Y1 - 2017/05/18/ PY - 2017/02/14/received PY - 2017/04/17/revised PY - 2017/05/16/accepted PY - 2017/5/27/pubmed PY - 2018/2/21/medline PY - 2017/5/27/entrez SP - 12 EP - 19 JF - Comprehensive psychiatry JO - Compr Psychiatry VL - 77 N2 - BACKGROUND: Research suggests that individuals who know someone who died by suicide are at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and recent suicidal thoughts. Studies have not yet investigated the association of suicide exposure with suicide attempts, however, especially among high-risk subgroups of military personnel such as the National Guard. PROCEDURES: An anonymous online survey was completed by 971 military personnel assigned to the National Guard in Utah and Idaho. Weighted analyses were conducted to ensure demographic matching to the full population. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to test the association of suicide exposure with psychiatric condition, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. MAIN FINDINGS: 65.4% of National Guard personnel reported knowing someone who had died by suicide. On average, participants knew 3.0 (SD=2.0) suicide decedents. Total number of known suicide decedents was associated with significantly increased risk for PTSD (OR=1.18, p=.008), depression (OR=1.19, p=.003), and suicide ideation (OR=2.48, p<.001), but not suicide attempt (OR=1.34, p=.472). Perceived closeness to the suicide decedent was associated with significantly increased risk for PTSD (OR=1.54, p<.001), depression (OR=1.36, p=.031), suicide ideation (OR=1.24, p=.039), and suicide attempt (OR=1.69, p=.026). The majority of participants who experienced suicidal thoughts and attempts after the suicide exposure had a previous history of suicide ideation. CONCLUSIONS: Suicide exposure is common among National Guard personnel, and is associated with increased risk for PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Risk is highest for those personnel who know multiple suicide decedents and were closer to the suicide decedent. SN - 1532-8384 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28549312/Exposure_to_suicide_is_associated_with_increased_risk_for_suicidal_thoughts_and_behaviors_among_National_Guard_military_personnel_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0010-440X(17)30096-2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -