- Patients with newly diagnosed cancer have a significantly higher risk for suicide compared with the general population, especially in the first year after diagnosis.
- Suicide rates were higher in patients with metastatic disease; those with pancreatic, lung, or colorectal cancer; men; and patients >50 years.
Why this matters
- Understanding factors that increase suicide risk in patients with cancer could aid clinicians in suicide prevention efforts.
- 4,671,989 patients with cancer were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.
- The observed/expected (O/E) ratio for committing suicide within a year of diagnosis was assessed with respect to the general US population.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Suicide risks increased significantly within a year of cancer diagnosis (O/E ratio, 2.52; excess risk, 2.51/10,000 person-years).
- Suicide risks within a year (O/E ratio; P<.05 were higher for metastatic pancreatic lung or colorectal cancer>
- The increase in suicide risk was higher in males than females in all subgroups (O/E ratio, 2.66; P<.05>
- Overall deaths reported: 1,005,825 deaths; most patients committing suicide were men (87%), white (90.2%), and 65-84 years old (58%).
- Retrospective study design.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm