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Original Research

Epilepsy and Associated Factors Among Adults Hospitalized for Attempted Suicide

Basma Akrout Brizard, MSca,*; Philippe Courtet, MD, PhDb,c; Isabelle Jaussent, PhDd; Jorge Lopez-Castroman, MD, PhDc,e; Marion Leboyer, MD, PhDf,g; Jean Pierre Kahn, MD, PhDh,i; and Carolina Baeza-Velasco, MSc, PhDa,b,c

Published: May 2, 2022


Background: Suicidal behaviors are known to be increased in people with epilepsy compared to the general population. However, few studies have explored the frequency of epilepsy in a large sample of suicide attempters, and scarce data exist about differences and similarities between epileptic attempters (EA) and nonepileptic attempters (NEA). The aim of this study was to explore the frequency of epilepsy as well as psychopathological and somatic factors among suicide attempters.

Methods: In this multicenter cross-sectional study, 1,229 adults hospitalized for attempted suicide were included during the period between July 2001 and December 2015. They were assessed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview for DSM-IV Axis I mental disorders. Data concerning sociodemographic and somatic diseases, including epilepsy, were collected.

Results: Sixty-five patients (5.3%) had epilepsy. EA had significantly fewer mean ± SD years of education compared with NEA (11.2 ± 3.2 vs 12.1 ± 2.9; P = .011) as well as increased rates of head trauma (29.2% for EA vs 16.2% for NEA; P = .007), antiepileptic use (35.4% for EA vs 23.8% for NEA; P = .036), and lifetime substance abuse and/or dependance (49.2% for EA vs 36.1% for NEA; P = .034). Multivariate analyses showed that years of education, head trauma, and panic disorder with agoraphobia predicted belonging to the EA group.

Conclusions: These results suggest that epilepsy is overrepresented among suicide attempters. Few psychopathological differences as well as differences in somatic comorbidities except head trauma were observed between EA and NEA in this sample. These results contribute to draw a clinical profile of people with epilepsy in the population of suicide attempters.


Volume: 83

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