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Pain and suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts in the United States.

Ilgen MA, Zivin K, McCammon RJ, Valenstein M. Pain and suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts in the United States. General hospital psychiatry. 2008 Nov 1; 30(6):521-7.

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OBJECTIVE: This study examined the association between pain and suicidality in the general US population. METHOD: Using data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication, we assessed relationships between four measures of pain (back and neck, headache, other nonarthritic pain and a summary score of the count of these conditions) and 12-month suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts using chi-square tests and logistic regression models. Multivariate logistic regression models controlled for demographic characteristics, chronic health conditions, mood, anxiety and substance use disorders. RESULTS: In multivariate models adjusting for concurrent psychiatric disorders and other chronic medical conditions, suicidal ideation was associated with head pain (OR 1.9, 95% CI: 1.2, 3.0) and the pain summary score (OR 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0, 1.4). Suicide attempt was also associated with head pain (OR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.2, 4.4) and pain summary score (OR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.6). Other nonarthritic pain was associated with suicide attempts (OR4.0, 95% CI: 1.8, 9.1). CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the importance of pain as a potentially independent risk factor for suicide, particularly among those with head pain or multiple forms of co-occurring pain. Individuals suffering from chronic pain may be particularly appropriate for suicide screening and intervention efforts.

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