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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
BMC Psychiatry. 2011; 11: 51.
Published online 2011 March 31. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-11-51
PMCID: PMC3078091

Suicide attempts and related factors in patients admitted to a general hospital: a ten-year cross-sectional study (1997-2007)



Suicide and suicide attempts represent a severe problem for public health services. The aim of this study is to determine the socio-demographic and psychopathological variables associated with suicide attempts in the population admitted to a General Hospital.


An observational-descriptive study of patients admitted to the A Coruña University Hospital (Spain) during the period 1997-2007, assessed by the Consultation and Liaison Psychiatric Unit. We include n = 5,234 admissions from 4,509 patients. Among these admissions, n = 361 (6.9%) were subsequent to a suicide attempt. Admissions arising from a suicide attempt were compared with admissions occurring due to other reasons.

Multivariate generalised estimating equation logistic regression models were used to examine factors associated with suicide attempts.


Adjusting by age, gender, educational level, cohabitation status, being employed or unemployed, the psychiatric diagnosis at the time of the interview and the information on previous suicide attempts, we found that the variables associated with the risk of a suicide attempt were: age, psychiatric diagnosis and previous suicide attempts.

The risk of suicide attempts decreases with age (OR = 0.969). Psychiatric diagnosis was associated with a higher risk of suicide attempts, with the highest risk being found for Mood or Affective Disorders (OR = 7.49), followed by Personality Disorders (OR = 7.31), and Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders (OR = 5.03).

The strongest single predictive factor for suicide attempts was a prior history of attempts (OR = 23.63).


Age, psychopathological diagnosis and previous suicide attempts are determinants of suicide attempts.

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