Suicide attempt is a considerable and growing public health problem worldwide 
. Data from the WHO/EURO multicentre study revealed that young women (15 to 24 years) comprised the only age group with increasing suicide attempt rates in several centers studied between 1989 and 1999 
. Also in countries with available data with national coverage on hospital admission due to attempted suicide, like Sweden, considerable increases of inpatient care due to suicide attempt among women between 15 and 24 years of age have been reported between the mid 1990s and 2007 
There is abundant evidence on the effect of familial suicidal behavior and familial psychopathology on the offspring’s risk of suicide and suicide attempt 
. Recently two register studies in Sweden could demonstrate that the effect on the child regarding the risk for suicide gets more detrimental the earlier in life a maternal or paternal suicide occurred 
. Similar associations could be shown with regard to the timing of parental psychiatric inpatient care on offspring’s risk for suicide attempt 
. According to the paradigm of life-course epidemiology, exposure during critical or sensitive periods in life, like for exemple childhood or adolescence, can have a more detrimental effect than if exposure occurs outside these time windows 
. Particularly adolescence is known to be associated with a higher degree of impulsive behavior and emotional turmoil than adulthood 
. For that reason we wanted to test if effects of exposure to parental morbidity and mortality vary with regard to timing of exposure and with regard to age at offspring’s suicide attempt.
These patterns of increased risk of suicidal behavior in offspring with decreasing age at exposure were shown not to be equally consistent regarding exposure to all types of parental markers of morbidity and mortality 
. In case of the effect of parental death other than suicide, estimates for offspring’s suicidal behavior were highest if exposure occurred later in life (after the 10th
birthday as compared to before) 
. These findings suggest short-term or triggering effects of parental risk factors on offspring’s suicidal behavior. In fact recent studies reported higher short-term than long-term effects of exposure to parental psychiatric morbidity for offspring’s suicide 
and exposure to parental death for offspring’s suicide attempt 
. To date, however, it is unclear as to whether these effects are similar for a wide range of parental exposures and if these short and long term effects vary with age at offspring’s suicide attempt.
Suicide attempt is reported to be more common among young women than among young men 
. Different studies have suggested stronger effects of familial psychiatric morbidity and suicide on the risk of suicide for women as compared to men 
, where else the risk for attempting suicide in case of familial suicide completion was found to be higher for boys than for girls 
. Also, young women are reported to have higher rates of psychopathology than young men 
. In addition, the effect of parental markers of morbidity and mortality are likely to be modified by offspring’s psychopathology 
. Furthermore, higher risk estimates of maternal as compared to paternal suicide 
and suicide attempt 
for offspring’s risk of suicide attempt were reported. For these reasons, it is important to study the specific effects of maternal and paternal risk factors separately on female and male offspring when simultaneously considering the offspring’s own psychopathology.
The aims of the present study were therefore three-fold: (i) to explore short- and long-term effects of parental markers of morbidity and mortality on the risk of suicide attempt in offspring; (ii) to investigate whether exposure to these parental markers before age 10 confers an increased risk of suicide attempt compared to exposure above this age; and (iii) to investigate whether any such effect is modified by age of offspring at attempted suicide. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to analyse these research questions using a very large database including more than 15 000 suicide attempters.