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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Association Between Childhood Adversities and Suicide Attempts Among Alcoholic Inpatients in Taiwan

Alcohol dependence is frequently associated with suicide attempts. A history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increases the risk of emotional and behavioral problems in adulthood. Child abuse is reported to increase suicide risk among alcohol-dependent patients. However, other types of ACEs, including ACEs related to family dysfunction that may have exceptional impact among the Chinese, are rarely explored.

The contribution of a broad spectrum of ACEs to lifetime risk of suicide attempts among alcoholic inpatients in Taiwan was examined. Family Health History Questionnaires were used to assess ACEs among 194 male alcohol-dependent inpatients admitted for alcohol detoxification. Logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the prediction of ACEs for lifetime risk of suicide attempts.

The rate of attempted suicide in this cohort was 27.4%. The prevalence of ACEs was high, with around 90% of participants reporting at least one type of ACE. In the regression analysis, after adjusting for lifetime depression, illicit drug use, and severity of alcohol dependence, having had a battered mother (odds ratio [OR] = 3.99, 95% CI [1.40, 11.34]) and having parents who were separated/divorced (OR = 7.35, 95% CI [1.56, 34.72]) were associated with the risk of suicide attempts, but having experienced physical and sexual abuse were not. A 1-unit increase in childhood adversity raised the likelihood of a suicide attempt by 61% (OR = 1.61, 95% CI [1.16, 2.25]).

There is a direct and graded relationship between childhood adversities and lifetime risk of suicide attempts among male alcoholic patients. In Chinese societies, adversities related to parental separation, divorce, and interparental violence may have a specific effect in aggravating suicide risk.

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