J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2000 Nov;39(6):1161-1169.

The Relationship between Serum Lipid Levels and Suicidality in Suicidal Attempters

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Eum-Sung Mental Hospital, Eumsung, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


Many studies have demonstrated that suicide is related to low serum cholesterol level, whereas conflicting results have also reported. The aims of the present study are to determine whether suicidal attempters have low lipid concentration and to identify the relationship between suicidal attempt severity and serum lipid levels.
Subjects were 50 suicidal attempters who visited the emergency room in Korea University Medical Center between July 1998 and June 1999. All subjects had been interviewed by psychiatrist and evaluated with Risk-rescue rating, HDRS and BPRS. They were diagnosed as major depressive disorder (n=29), personality disorder (n=19), and schizophrenia (n=2). Serum lipid levels in 50 suicidal attempters were compared with those in 50 nonsuicidal psychiatric inpatients corresponding to the age, sex and diagnosis of the suicidal attempters. We also examined the Spearman's rank correl-ations between the serum lipid levels and risk-rescue score.
The serum total cholesterol level (t=-3.29, p=.001), total lipid level (t=-2.62, p=.01), and LDL level (t=-2.64, p=.011) in suicidal attempters were significantly lower compared with non-suicidal controls. In major depressive patients, total cholesterol level, total lipid level, and LDL level in suicidal attempters were significantly lower than those of nonsuicidal controls. In personality disorder patients, however, only serum total cholesterol level was significantly lower. Risk-rescue rating score was negatively correlated with serum total cholesterol level (t=.-293, p=.039), and positively corre-lated with BPRS (t=.544, p< 001), and HDRS (t=.488, p=.001).
The lipid levels in suicidal attempter were significantly lower. Suicidal attempt severity was also significantly correlated with serum total cholesterol level. These findings suggest that low serum cholesterol should be related with severe violent suicidal attempt.


Serum lipid level; Suicidality; Risk-rescue rating
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