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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 39 (1997) 6, 462 - 474

Short report

Suicide and schizophrenia, riskfactors and implications for treatment

M. De Hert, J. Peuskens

Suicide is the most dramatic outcome of schizophrenia. It is estimated that 10% of schizophrenic patients kill themselves. A recent case-control study in Belgium confirms the high risk of suicide in this population and identified a various of riskfactors. The risk of suicide in schizophrenic young patients is 40 times the risk of the general population. Major risk factors are: male gender, chronic illness with frequent relapse, frequent and short hospitalizations, negative attitude towards treatment, impulsive behaviour, past suicidal behaviour, higher premorbid level of functioning, psychosis and depression. Interventions aimed at reducing the risk of suicide in schizophrenic patients should target these risk factors.