Your Health: A possible genetic link to suicidal behavior

Your Health: A possible genetic link to suicidal behavior
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers suicide a serious health problem.

More than one million people in the United States attempted to kill themselves in 2021. Roughly 45,000 died by suicide, about once every 11 minutes. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the country.

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One of the largest studies on suicide suggests there may be a genetic factor. Researchers looked at the DNA of 500,000 people, 30,000 were people who had attempted to kill themselves.

“What we found is that there actually is independent genetic risk that is contributing directly to suicide attempt that is not simply through the risk for psychiatric disorders,” said Dr. Douglas M. Ruderfer.

Researchers identified that increased risk from a region on chromosome seven. Even after controlling for psychiatric disorders, that risk was still significant.

“It really supports the idea that there’s no one risk factor that just defines suicide attempts,” said Dr. JooEun Kang.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached 24/7 at 800-273-8255.

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