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Britton PC, Bohnert KM, Ilgen MA, Kane C, Stephens B, Pigeon WR. Suicide mortality among male veterans discharged from Veterans Health Administration acute psychiatric units from 2005 to 2010. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. 2017 Sep 1; 52(9):1081-1087.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to calculate suicide rates and identify correlates of risk in the year following discharge from acute Veterans Health Administration psychiatric inpatient units among male veterans discharged from 2005 to 2010 (fiscal years). METHODS: Suicide rates and standardized mortality ratios were calculated. Descriptive analyses were used to describe suicides and non-suicides and provide base rates for interpretation, and unadjusted and adjusted proportional hazard models were used to identify correlates of suicide. RESULTS: From 2005 to 2010, 929 male veterans died by suicide in the year after discharge and the suicide rate was 297/100,000 person-years (py). The suicide rate significantly increased from 234/100,000 py (95% CI? = 193-282) in 2005 to 340/100,000 py (95% CI? = 292-393) in 2008, after which it plateaued. Living in a rural setting, HR (95% CI)? = 1.20 (1.05, 1.36), and being diagnosed with a mood disorder such as major depression, HR (95% CI)? = 1.60 (1.36, 1.87), or other anxiety disorder, HR (95% CI)? = 1.52 (1.24, 1.87), were associated with increased risk for suicide. CONCLUSIONS: Among male veterans, the suicide rate in the year after discharge from acute psychiatric hospitalization increased from 2005 to 2008, after which it plateaued. Prevention efforts should target psychiatrically hospitalized veterans who live in rural settings and/or are diagnosed with mood or other anxiety disorders.