Arthritis and suicide attempts: Findings from a large nationally representative Canadian survey
Authors: Esme Fuller-Thomson, Natasha Ramzan, and Stephanie L. Baird
The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the odds of suicide attempts among those with arthritis compared with those without and to see what factors attenuate this association and (2) to identify which factors are associated with suicide attempts among adults with arthritis. Secondary data analysis of the nationally representative 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health (CCHS-MH) was performed. For objective 1, those with and without arthritis were included (n = 21,744). For objective 2, only individuals who had arthritis (n = 4885) were included. A series of binary logistic regression analyses of suicide attempts were conducted for each objective, with adjustments for socio-demographics, childhood adversities, lifetime mental health and chronic pain. After full adjustment for the above listed variables, the odds of suicide attempts among adults with arthritis were 1.46. Among those with arthritis, early adversities alone explained 24 % of the variability in suicide attempts. After full adjustment, the odds of suicide attempts among those with arthritis were significantly higher among those who had experienced childhood sexual abuse (OR = 3.77), chronic parental domestic violence (OR = 3.97) or childhood physical abuse (1.82), those who had ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol (OR = 1.76) and ever had a depressive disorder (OR = 3.22) or an anxiety disorder (OR = 2.34) and those who were currently in chronic pain (OR = 1.50). Younger adults with arthritis were more likely to report having attempted suicide. Future prospective research is needed to uncover plausible mechanisms through which arthritis and suicide attempts are linked.
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