TITLE

Association between mortality from suicide in England and antidepressant prescribing: an ecological study

AUTHOR(S)
Morgan, Oliver W. C.; Griffiths, Clare; Majeed, Azeem
PUB. DATE
January 2004
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2004, Vol. 4, p63
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Antidepressant prescribing has been increasing in England. Studies in other countries suggest that while this may be associated with reduced suicide rates, it may also be associated with increased fatal poisoning from antidepressant drugs. We therefore conducted an ecological study to assess the association between prescription rates for antidepressants and suicide or fatal antidepressant-related poisoning in England. Methods: The Office for National Statistics provided information on the number of suicides, antidepressant-related poisoning deaths and populations for England between 1993 and 2002. The Department of Health supplied data on prescriptions for all antidepressants dispensed in England. Associations between prescriptions and deaths were assessed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. Results: There were 46,747 suicides, 3,987 deaths involving tricyclic antidepressants and 430 involving selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and other antidepressants. Increased antidepressant prescribing was statistically associated with a fall in suicide rates (Spearman's rs = - 0.73, p = 0.02) and fatal poisoning involving tricyclic antidepressants (rs = -0.64, p = 0.05). In contrast, increased prescribing of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and other antidepressants was statistically associated with an increase in fatal poisoning involving these drugs (rs = 0.99, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Increased prescribing of antidepressants may indicate improved diagnosis and treatment of depression in primary care. Our analysis suggests that this was accompanied by lower suicide rates. A decrease in poisoning deaths involving tricyclic antidepressants may suggest a change in preference for using serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressant drugs for high-risk patients. This may also partially explain the increase in deaths involving these drugs. Due to the ecological nature of the design, we cannot say conclusively whether reduced suicide rates are a direct consequence of increased antidepressant prescribing rates. To confirm these associations, individual level data on prescribing and suicide is needed.
ACCESSION #
29361755

 

Related Articles

  • "They Took My Depression and Then Medicated Me into Madness": Co-Constructed Narratives of SSRI-Induced Suicidality. Liebert, Rachel; Gavey, Nicola // Radical Psychology: A Journal of Psychology, Politics & Radicali;2006, Vol. 5, p4 

    Evidence that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) 'antidepressant' use may elicit suicidal thoughts and behaviours in people of all ages has been circulating for nearly thirty years. Nonetheless, knowledge of the possibility and/or significance of these adverse effects appears to...

  • Why Did Julie Take Her Life? Schindehette, Susan; Calandra, Bob; Podesta, Jane Sims; Williams, Kelly // People;4/5/2004, Vol. 61 Issue 13, p58 

    This article discusses how anti-depressants relate to the suicide of Julie Woodward. From the very beginning, Tom and Kathy Woodward's firstborn was a golden child. And by the time Julie Woodward reached her sophomore year at a Catholic high school near her home in North Wales, Pa. Julie...

  • Suicidality with Fluoxetine. Beasley Jr, C.M. // CNS Drugs;1998, Vol. 9 Issue 6, p513 

    Comments on psychiatrist Alyson J. Bond's article on relationship between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants and suiciadility. Lack of confounding factors in relating fluoxetine and suiciadility; Unreliability of clinical case material used to evaluate the link...

  • Antidepressants Medications and the Relative Risk of Suicide Attempt. Mandour, R. A. // Toxicology International;Jan2012, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p42 

    This study was conducted on patients (n=1283) of different ages, 924 males and 359 female. These patients were attended to poison unit at emergency hospital, Mansoura University during the period from January 2002 to December 2009. The aim of this study was to characterize patients on...

  • Antidepressants: SSRIs may be safe for pediatric depression.  // PharmaWatch: CNS;March 2004, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p7 

    Assesses the safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) for pediatric depression. Failure of SSRI to increase the risk of suicide in children and teenagers; Approval on the use SSRI for children; Usage of pediatric antidepressants.

  • Antidepressants and suicidality. Hegerl, Ulrich // European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;2006, Vol. 256 Issue 4, p199 

    Talks about the association of the risk of suicidality with the use of antidepressants in pediatric patients. Efficacy of serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants in children and adolescents; Effect of antidepressants on the treatment of depressed adults; Factors that contribute...

  • ANTIDEPRESSANT USE SHOWN NOT TO BE CAUSE FOR SUICIDE RATE DECLINE IN OLDER ADULTS. Perkins Jr., Carlos // Primary Psychiatry;Jun2008, Vol. 15 Issue 6, p24 

    The article focuses on a study which found that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) use is not the cause for suicide rate decline in older adults, conducted by Annette Erlangsen of the National Centre for Register-Based Research at the University of Aarbus in Denmark and colleagues....

  • News Feature: Mood Swings. Mandavilli, Apoorva // Nature Medicine;Oct2004, Vol. 10 Issue 10, p1010 

    Focuses on the search for alternatives in light of the safety issue for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and other antidepressants. Suspected link of antidepressants to suicide; Pharmaceutical companies' exploration of targets in stress-hormone regulation to tap more closely into...

  • Utilización de antidepresivos inhibidores selectivos de la recaptación de serotonina en niños y adolescentes con depresión mayor. Jiménez-Arriero, M. A.; Fernández, I.; Vidal, J.; Herráez, C.; Parellada, M.; Cruz, M. A.; Pérez-Cayuela, P.; Ausejo, M. // Actas Espanolas de Psiquiatria;sep2007, Vol. 35 Issue 5, p342 

    Treatment of depression in children and adolescents is a health care question of primary importance and it is presently associated to significant social concern. In recent years some studies have appeared that throw light on the question of the use of antidepressants in these sectors of the...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics