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Suicide and multiple sclerosis: an epidemiological investigation.
  1. E N Stenager,
  2. E Stenager,
  3. N Koch-Henriksen,
  4. H Brønnum-Hansen,
  5. K Hyllested,
  6. K Jensen,
  7. U Bille-Brahe
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Odense University.


    In a nationwide investigation the risk of death by suicide for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) was assessed using records kept at the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry (DMSR) and the Danish National Register of Cause of Death. The investigation covers all MS patients registered with DSMR with an onset of the disease within the period 1953-85, or for whom MS was diagnosed in the same period. Fifty three of the 5525 cases in the onset cohort group committed suicide. Using the figures from the population death statistics by adjustment to number of subjects, duration of observation, sex, age, and calendar year at the start of observation, the expected number of suicides was calculated to be nearly 29. The cumulative lifetime risk of suicide from onset of MS, using an actuarial method of calculation, was 1.95%. The standard mortality ratio (SMR) of suicide in MS was 1.83. It was highest for males and for patients with onset of MS before the age of 30 years and those diagnosed before the age of 40. The SMR was highest within the first five years after diagnosis.

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