Risk factors for suicide in bipolar disorder

G. Maina, F. Quarato, S. Bramante

SCDU Psichiatria, AOU “S. Luigi Gonzaga”; Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Torino.


Aim of this review is to analyse, update and categorize data coming from literature about risk factors for suicide in Bipolar Disorder (BD). Suicide represents the most fearsome complication of BD. The epidemiological rates of suicide attempts and deaths in BD are extremely high compared to the general population and other psychiatric conditions, underlining the need for a specific assessment of risk factors for suicide in BD patients.


The authors performed a systematic literature search in order to give a detailed overview of risk factors for suicide in bipolar disorder.


Suicide risk factors have been classified into three categories: sociodemographic, biological and clinical factors. In each group, there are several disease-specific risk factors which should be considered in the evaluation of suicide risk of a patient.


Considering the high rate of suicide attempts and deaths in bipolar subjects and the social impact of this behaviour, it is important to early recognise such patients, thus allowing for better prediction and prevention of suicidal behaviours.

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