Background Suicidal intent is believed to be more prevalent amongst systemic lupus erythemathosus (SLE) patients than in the general population. Depression is often present in SLE patients and can be a feature or a consequence of the disease.
Objectives To assess suicide attempts and fatal events in a cohort of SLE patients.
Methods A retrospective evaluation of our 650 patients SLE cohort (1978-2013) was performed. Data on disease onset, disease manifestations, immunological profile, time to suicide attempt and disease activity at the event were collected.
Results In this cohort over a 35 year follow-up period, 9 patients made 11 suicide attempts, 3 of them fatal, resulting in a rate of suicide of 0.46%. Most of the attempts consisted of tablet overdose. Only two patients had previously expressed suicidal intent. Two patients had never had overt neuropsychiatric involvement. Anti-Ro antibodies were identified in 6 patients. At the time of suicide attempt, high anti dsDNA levels were noted in 7 patients and lymphopenia in 8; but the C3 was normal in 8.
Conclusions Even though SLE patients have a higher risk of suicide than general population, suicide ideation was not mentioned by most patients. Death due to suicide is very uncommon in SLE.
Karassa FB, Magliano M, Isenberg DA. Suicide attempts in patients with systemic lupus erythemathosus. Ann Rheum Dis 2003; 62: 58-60.
Palagini L, Mosca M, Tani C, Gemignani A, Mauri M, Bombardieri S. Depression and systemic lupus eryhtemathosus: a systematic review. Lupus 2013; 22(5): 409-416
Disclosure of Interest None declared