The Lancet, Volume 1: Page 624-627, 16 March 1985.
LEE SALK, LEWIS P. LIPSITT, WILLAM Q. STURNER, BERNICE M. REILLY, ROBIN H. LEVAT
Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College,
Child Study Center and Department of Psychology, Brown
University, Department of Pathology, Brown University Program in Medicine, and Office of the Medical Examiner, Rhode Island, USA
In an investigation of a possible relationship between falling perinatal mortality and rising rates of adolescent suicide, 46 risk factors from the perinatal, birth, and neonatal records of 52 adolescents who committed suicide before age 20 and 2 matched controls for each subject were analysed blind. The results showed statistically significant differences between the suicide victims and each of the controls and no difference between the controls. Three specific risk factors were shown to have a powerful capacity to differentiate the suicides from the controls: (i) respiratory distress from more than 1 h at birth; (ii) no antenatal care before 20 weeks of pregnancy; and (iii) chronic disease of the mother during pregnancy.
We thank the Harris Foundation, the W. T. Grant Foundation, and the Hoffman-La Roche Corporation for research support.
Correspondence should be addressed to L. S., 941 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028, USA.
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