HealthDay News — Stroke patients are at a significantly increased risk of suicide, especially during the first two years after the stroke, results of a study published in Neurology indicate.
To determine whether attempted and completed suicides after stroke were associated with socioeconomic status, other patient characteristic, or time after stroke, Marie Eriksson, PhD, of Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues culled data from 220,336 patients who suffered a stroke between 2001 and 2012.
Stroke patients were up to twice as likely to commit suicide compared with people in the general population, and the risk of attempted suicide was highest in the first two years after a stroke, reported the investigators. During follow-up, 1,217 suicides attempts were reported; 260 were fatal.
Among stroke patients aged younger than 55 years, the risk of suicide was five times higher than in the general population. Stroke patients with lower income or education levels were 37% more likely to attempt suicide than those with a university education.
Clinical and socioeconomic factors increase the risk of post-stroke suicide attempts, which suggests “a need for psychosocial support and suicide preventive interventions in high-risk groups of stroke patients,” according to the scientists.