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Severe pain predicts greater likelihood of subsequent suicide.

Ilgen MA, Zivin K, Austin KL, Bohnert AS, Czyz EK, Valenstein M, Kilbourne AM. Severe pain predicts greater likelihood of subsequent suicide. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. 2010 Dec 1; 40(6):597-608.

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Using data from the 1999 Large Health Survey of Veterans, Veterans Affairs' medical records, and the National Death Index (N = 260,254), the association between self-reported pain severity and suicide among veterans as examined, after accounting for demographic variables and psychiatric diagnoses. A Cox proportional hazards regression demonstrated that veterans with severe pain were more likely to die by suicide than patients experiencing none, mild, or moderate pain (HR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.15, 1.54), after controlling for demographic and psychiatric characteristics. These results indicate that pain evaluations should be included in comprehensive suicide assessments and suicide prevention efforts.

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