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Study Reports Strong Link Between Alcohol Use Disorder, Suicide Risk

March 20, 2020

Even after controlling for factors such as comorbid mental illness, alcohol use disorder is significantly associated with increased risk of suicide, according to a study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Published March 12 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study was based on an analysis drawn from Swedish population-based registries. Lead researcher Alexis Edwards, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry in the university's School of Medicine, said in a news release that both genetic and environmental factors appear to contribute to the association between alcohol use disorder and suicide.

Edwards added that the study's most striking finding was that the association remained strong even after controlling for psychiatric comorbidity such as a mood or psychotic disorder. It also was noteworthy, she said, “that the elevated risk persisted for literally decades.”

 

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