ANXIETY DISORDERS AND RISK FOR SUICIDE ATTEMPTS: FINDINGS FROM THE BALTIMORE EPIDEMIOLOGIC CATCHMENT AREA FOLLOW-UP STUDY

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Abstract

Our objective was to determine whether the presence of an anxiety disorder was a risk factor for future suicide attempts. Data were drawn from the 13-year followup Baltimore Epidemiological Catchment Area survey (n = 1,920). Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between baseline anxiety disorders (social phobia, simple phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, or agoraphobia) and subsequent onset suicide attempts. The presence of one or more anxiety disorders at baseline was significantly associated with subsequent onset suicide attempts (adjusted odds ratio 2.20, 95% confidence interval 1.04-4.64) after controlling for sociodemographic variables and all baseline mental disorders assessed in the survey. These findings suggest that anxiety disorders are independent risk factors for suicide attempts, and underscore the importance of anxiety disorders as a serious public health problem.

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