Suicide in cancer patients within the first year of diagnosis

Myung Hee Ahn, Subin Park, Hochang Benjamin Lee, Christine M. Ramsey, Riji Na, Seon Ok Kim, Jeong Eun Kim, Shinkyo Yoon, Jin Pyo Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Abstract Background A diagnosis of cancer is associated with an increased suicide risk, and this risk is the highest within the first year of diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to determine risk factors of suicide occurring within the first year of cancer diagnosis (early suicide). Methods The sampling pool consisted of 164,497 patients with cancer admitted to a general hospital in Seoul, South Korea, from 1996 to 2009. We conducted a 1:2 matched case-control study by matching 373 patients who died from suicide (cases) with 746 patients who did not die from suicide (controls) on age, sex, anatomic site, and at the time of cancer diagnosis. Data were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression modeling. Results Suicide within the first year after a cancer diagnosis occurred in 149 patients (40.0% of 373 total suicides). The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for early suicide was 1.65 [95% confidence interval (CI)=1.40-1.94] and was significantly higher for biliary-pancreatic (SMR=3.07; 95% CI=2.02-4.46), lung (SMR=1.94; 95% CI=1.19-3.30), and stomach (SMR=1.71; 95% CI=1.16-2.42) cancers than for other cancers. Early and late suicide was significantly different in anatomic site (p=0.01) and stage (p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-607
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • advanced stage
  • cancer
  • clinical factors
  • early suicide
  • oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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