Nearly 12% of all suicide cases involve a diagnosis of schizophrenia, which affects one’s ability to think clearly, says a new study done by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) in Canada. The findings suggest that those with schizophrenia who died were also more likely to be younger, with one in five between the ages of 25 and 34 compared to just one in 10 in the non-schizophrenia group.
“We need to emphasise the importance of assessing the risk of suicide in younger patients with schizophrenia, particularly early in the course of illness,” said lead author Juveria Zaheer.
In the study, published in the journal Schizophrenia Research, the team analysed data from 5,650 suicide cases in Ontario, Canada. They found that 663 cases, that is 11.7% of the entire sample, had schizophrenia-related diagnosis. While the study is mainly focused on the population from Ontario in Canada, the finding points to an opportunity to intervene, and raises the question of whether there’s a role for a suicide risk assessment and management with every young person with schizophrenia, said Zaheer.
However, the reasons why a person takes their life can vary substantially, Zaheer said. Suicide risks might be different for those with schizophrenia compared to those with other illnesses, and looking at patterns across a population is one way to identify these risks, the research suggested.
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