Original Article

Exploration of the Association Between Physical Health and Suicidal Behavior in Psychiatric Outpatients in Rural America

Authors: Jessica M. Carbajal, MD, Nolan C. Kordsmeier, MS, Ricardo Cáceda, MD, PhD


Objective: Evidence reveals a link between poor physical health and suicide. The physical health of rural, adult psychiatric outpatients with a history of suicide was examined.

Methods: The medical records of 192 patients seen at a tertiary-level academic medical center were examined for demographics, psychiatric and medical history, and self-reported measures of depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, and health status.

Results: The 48 subjects who endorsed a history of suicide attempts evidenced more medical conditions than those who had not made a suicide attempt (t = 2.91, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis of increased health risks in patients with a history of suicide attempts and highlight the need for targeted health interventions.

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