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Somatic diseases and suicidal behaviour 

Somatic diseases and suicidal behaviour
Somatic diseases and suicidal behaviour

Elsebeth Stenager

and Egon Stenager

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date: 26 January 2022

The association between chronic somatic disorders and the risk of suicide has been examined in many studies. Common features in the studies are a large variation in quality and choice of study method. The studies performed, in more recent decades, have substantially improved knowledge not only on the extent of risk, but also on factors influencing the risk. Most of the studies on completed suicides have been made in European countries, the United States of America and Australia, one single study is from Japan (Whitlock 1985; Allgulander and Fisher 1990; Stenager and Stenager 1992; Harris and Barraclough 1994; Stenager and Stenager 1997; Ruzicka et al. 2005).

The majority of studies on the association between chronic somatic disorders and suicidal behaviour, including suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, studies have demonstrated a correlation. The studies have been performed in Europe (DeLeo et al. 1999; Pajonk et al. 2002), the US (Druss and Pincuss 2000) and Australia (Lawrence et al. 2000).

This chapter is a review on present knowledge on suicide and suicidal behaviour in selected somatic disorders and pain syndromes, with focus on studies from different parts of the world, and whether or not this refl ects variation in the estimated risk of suicidal behaviour.

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