Data from a new study suggest that those with schizophrenia may be six times more likely to attempt suicide than those without the disease.
Researchers at the University of Toronto compared the survey responses of thousands of Canadians, 101 of whom had schizophrenia. They isolated the risk factor of having schizophrenia from other known risk factors for suicide and found that schizophrenia significantly predicted a greater risk for suicide on its own.
This new information is particularly useful for mental health professionals assessing for suicide risk, according to Esme Fuller-Thomson, an author of the study. "Knowledge of the added risk of suicide attempts associated with childhood abuse and substance abuse could help clinicians improve targeting and outreach to this population" as well, she said.
Researchers also found that women and those with major depression were at a higher risk for suicide attempts within the schizophrenic population.