Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:34pm EST
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People with bipolar disorder who smoke appear to have a heightened risk of suicidal behavior
See article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5AA3FB20091112
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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People with bipolar disorder who smoke appear to have a heightened risk of suicidal behavior — possibly because they are generally prone to impulsive acts, a new study suggests.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is marked by dramatic swings in mood — ranging from episodes of debilitating depression to periods of euphoric recklessness. Previous studies have found that bipolar patients who smoke have a higher suicide risk than their non-smoking counterparts, but the reasons have not been clear.
The new findings suggest that high levels of impulsivity — one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder — may draw some patients to both smoking and suicidal behavior.
Dr. Michael J. Ostacher and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that among 116 bipolar patients they followed, current smokers generally scored higher on a standard measure of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Moreover, smokers were more likely to make a suicide attempt over the next nine months, the researchers report in the journal Bipolar Disorders
SOURCE: Bipolar Disorders, November 2009.