Low HDL cholesterol is associated with suicide attempt among young healthy women: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Jian Zhang, Robert E. McKeown, James R. Hussey, Shirley J. Thompson, John R. Woods, Barbara E. Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Serum cholesterol is reported to be associated with suicidality, but studies conducted among general healthy population are rare. We examined the association between serum cholesterol and suicidality in a national sample of the general population of US. Methods: We used the data of 3237 adults aged 17 to 39 years, who completed a mental disorder diagnostic interview and had blood specimens collected after a 12-h fast, as a part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. The serum concentrations of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were dichotomized according to the recommended levels of the National Cholesterol Education Program. A polytomous logistic regression was employed to control for covariates. Results: Independent of socio-demographic variables, health risks and nutrition status, and a history of medical and psychiatric illness (including depression), a significant association between low HDL-C (≤ 40 mg/dl) and increased prevalence of suicide attempts was observed in women (OR = 2.93, 95% CI = 1.07-8.00). No significant evidence was found to support an association between cholesterol and suicide ideation in women. Serum cholesterol was unrelated with either suicide ideation or attempts in men. Limitation: The inherent limitation of cross-sectional design prevented the authors from investigating causality. Conclusions: Low HDL-C is significantly associated with suicide attempts in women. Further studies are necessary to explore the clinical application of serum cholesterol as an indicator for suicide attempts among high risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume89
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • NHANES III
  • Serum cholesterol
  • Suicide attempt
  • Suicide ideation
  • Young and middle age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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