Psychiatric disorders and suicide risk among adults with disabilities: A nationwide retrospective cohort study

Jae Woo Choi, Kang Soo Lee, Euna Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adults with disabilities demonstrate a higher suicide risk than the general population; however, the association between mental illness and death by suicide among disabled adults remains relatively unknown. We aimed to explore the relationship between psychiatric disorders and suicide risk in adults with disabilities. Methods: We used nationally representative cohort data and included adults who registered as having a disability from 2004 to 2012, following up with them throughout 2013. We used the clinical diagnoses of all psychiatric disorders as an independent variable and death by suicide as a dependent variable to estimate the adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) of suicide risk using a Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Among adults with disabilities (n = 30,386), those who had any psychiatric disorder were at an increased risk of death by suicide compared to those without mental illness (AHR 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.99). Adults with mild disabilities who had psychiatric or mood disorders were more likely to commit suicide than the comparison group (AHR 1.67, 3.00; 95% CI 1.13–2.46, 1.95–4.61, respectively). Limitations: The actual time of disability onset could differ from the time of disability registration. Conclusions: Adults with disabilities who have psychiatric disorders are at increased risk of suicide compared to those without mental illness. During rehabilitation treatment after disability diagnosis, mental health support should be provided to those who have psychiatric illnesses to potentially reduce the risk of death by suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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