Most Read Articles
Dr Margaret Shi, 10 Feb 2020
First-recorded diagnoses of psychiatric disorders are associated with increases in risk of subsequent self-harm that vary by diagnostic categories across gender and age groups, with the highest risk observed in patients with substance misuse or dependence, a 10-year case-control study in Hong Kong has shown. 
Jairia Dela Cruz, 2 days ago
Mental disorders and chronic physical conditions represent a serious public health burden in Singapore, with chronic pain, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, cardiovascular disease and generalized anxiety disorder being the top five contributors to increased number of years lived with disability in the general population, according to a recent study.

Suicide more common in patients with digestive system cancers

06 Sep 2018
A day may come when a pill can be taken to prevent suicide, borne from the partnership between University of Utah and pharmaceutical giant, Janssen in researching biomarkers related to suicidal tendencies.

Suicide appears to be more common in patients with cancers of the digestive system, especially in those with pancreatic and oesophageal cancers, a recent study has found.

The analysis included 856,293 patients with digestive system cancers (54.4 percent male), in whom 881 suicide cases were reported over a mean follow-up duration of 3.14 years. The resulting suicide rate was 32.77 per 100,000 person-years, which was almost twice that in the general US population (standardized mortality ratio [SMR], 1.91; 95 percent CI, 1.79–2.04).

Colon cancer was observed in 37 percent of the cohort and was the most common digestive system cancer subtype. This was followed by cancers of the rectum and rectosigmoid junction (16 percent), and pancreatic cancer (14 percent). Oesophageal cancer was the least common subtype (5.1 percent).

Disaggregation of the analysis by cancer site showed that suicide rates were consistently elevated relative to the general population.

Notably, despite being the least common type, oesophageal cancer had one of the highest relative suicide risks (SMR, 5.03; 4.03–6.19), second only to pancreatic cancer (SMR, 5.28; 4.26–6.47). The corresponding absolute rates were 116.54 and 86.04 suicides per 100,000 person-years.

Cancers of the stomach (SMR, 2.84; 2.26–3.53) and of the liver and intrahepatic bile duct (SMR, 2.14; 1.58–2.85) also resulted in suicide rates that were more than double than in the general population.

In contrast, colon (SMR, 1.36; 1.22–1.52) and rectum and rectosigmoid junction (SMR, 1.65; 1.42–1.90) cancers had the lowest suicide rates of all the subtypes, though these were still significantly higher than in the general population.

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Most Read Articles
Dr Margaret Shi, 10 Feb 2020
First-recorded diagnoses of psychiatric disorders are associated with increases in risk of subsequent self-harm that vary by diagnostic categories across gender and age groups, with the highest risk observed in patients with substance misuse or dependence, a 10-year case-control study in Hong Kong has shown. 
Jairia Dela Cruz, 2 days ago
Mental disorders and chronic physical conditions represent a serious public health burden in Singapore, with chronic pain, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, cardiovascular disease and generalized anxiety disorder being the top five contributors to increased number of years lived with disability in the general population, according to a recent study.