People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have an increased risk of suicide, according to a new study. Researchers also found an increased risk of suicide in the parents and siblings of people with ADHD.
The findings suggest that genetics may link ADHD and suicidal behavior, the researchers said.
"Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to show that ADHD and suicidal behavior share genetic risk factors," the researchers wrote in their article, published today (June 25) in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Previous studies showed that genetic influences affect people's risk of both ADHD and suicide, the researchers noted.
The results suggest it could be important to reach people with ADHD and their relatives with efforts aimed at suicide screening and prevention, the researchers said.
In the study, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden compared suicide rates of patients with ADHD to suicide rates of people without the disorder, using data from the country's national database. The researchers looked at nearly 52,000 patients with ADHD, about a third of whom also had another psychiatric disorder, as well as about 260,000 people without ADHD.
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