Risk factors for suicide in bipolar i disorder in two prospectively studied cohorts

William Coryell, Abby Kriener, Brandon Butcher, John Nurnberger, Francis McMahon, Wade Berrettini, Jess Fiedorowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background These analyses were undertaken to determine whether similar risk factors for suicide emerged across two prospectively studied cohorts of individuals with bipolar I disorder. Methods The NIMH Collaborative Study of Depression (CDS) recruited 288 patients with bipolar I disorder from 1978-1981 as they sought treatment. Subjects were followed semiannually and then annually for up to 30 years. The Bipolar Genomics studies identified individuals through clinical referrals and advertisement. Clinical follow-up did not occur but personal identifiers of 1748 were matched with National Death Index (NDI) records. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses tested ten potential risk factors. Results The CDS and Genomic follow-ups encompassed 12,667 and 4529 person-years, respectively. Suicides/100 person-years were 0.26 and 0.055. The demographic or clinical variables that predicted suicide differed considerably in the two cohorts. The odds ratio for suicide for those with any history of suicide attempt was 2.3 and 2.8, respectively, and was the third highest odds ratio of the tested risk factors in both studies. Limitations In one of the two cohorts, matching to the NDI was the only means available to ascertain death and cause of death.In one of the two cohorts, depressive symptom ratings were, in most cases, applied to those of a past major depressive episode. Conclusions Differences in the sources of participants in studies of suicide risk may result in marked differences across studies in both rates of suicide and in risk factors. A history of suicide attempt is a relatively robust risk factor across samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Risk factors
  • Suicide
  • Suicide attempts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk factors for suicide in bipolar i disorder in two prospectively studied cohorts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this