Document Detail

Premature death after self-harm: a multicentre cohort study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22995670     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: People who self-harm have an increased risk of premature death. The aim of this study was to investigate cause-specific premature death in individuals who self-harm, including associations with socioeconomic deprivation.
METHODS: We undertook a cohort study of patients of all ages presenting to emergency departments in Oxford, Manchester, and Derby, UK, after self-poisoning or self-injury between Jan 1, 2000, and Dec 31, 2007. Postcodes of individuals' place of residence were linked to the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2007 in England. Mortality information was supplied by the Medical Research Information Service of the National Health Service. Patients were followed up to the end of 2009. We calculated age-standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) and years of life lost (YLL), and we tested for associations with socioeconomic deprivation.
FINDINGS: 30 950 individuals presented with self-harm and were followed up for a median of 6·0 years (IQR 3·9-7·9). 1832 (6·1%) patients died before the end of follow-up. Death was more likely in patients than in the general population (SMR 3·6, 95% CI 3·5-3·8), and occurred more in males (4·1, 3·8-4·3) than females (3·2, 2·9-3·4). Deaths due to natural causes were 2-7·5 times more frequent than was expected. For individuals who died of any cause, mean YLL was 31·4 years (95% CI 30·5-32·2) for male patients and 30·7 years (29·5-31·9) for female patients. Mean YLL for natural-cause deaths was 25·9 years (25·7-26·0) for male patients and 25·5 years (25·2-25·8) for female patients, and for external-cause deaths was 40·2 years (40·0-40·3) and 40·0 years (39·7-40·5), respectively. Disease of the circulatory (13·1% in males; 13·0% in females) and digestive (11·7% in males; 17·8% in females) systems were major contributors to YLL from natural causes. All-cause mortality increased with each quartile of socioeconomic deprivation in male patients (χ(2) trend 39·6; p<0·0001), female patients (13·9; p=0·0002), and both sexes combined (55·4; p<0·0001). Socioeconomic deprivation was related to mortality in both sexes combined from natural causes (51·0; p<0·0001) but not from external causes (0·30; p=0·58). Alcohol problems were associated with death from digestive-system disease, drug misuse with mental and behavioural disorders, and physical health problems with circulatory-system disease.
INTERPRETATION: Physical health and life expectancy are severely compromised in individuals who self-harm compared with the general population. In the management of self-harm, clinicians assessing patients' psychosocial problems should also consider their physical needs.
FUNDING: Department of Health Policy Research Programme.
Helen Bergen; Keith Hawton; Keith Waters; Jennifer Ness; Jayne Cooper; Sarah Steeg; Navneet Kapur
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Multicenter Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-09-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lancet     Volume:  380     ISSN:  1474-547X     ISO Abbreviation:  Lancet     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-05     Completed Date:  2013-01-01     Revised Date:  2013-01-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985213R     Medline TA:  Lancet     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1568-74     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research, Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Headington, Oxford, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents / mortality
Cohort Studies
Digestive System Diseases / mortality
Health Status
Mortality, Premature*
Poisoning / mortality
Self-Injurious Behavior / mortality*
Social Class
Vascular Diseases / mortality
Young Adult
Comment In:
Lancet. 2012 Nov 3;380(9853):1536-8   [PMID:  22995671 ]
Erratum In:
Lancet. 2012 Nov 3;380(9853):1558

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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