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Anxiety of loved ones with alcohol abuse led to increased risk of suicide

Scientists at the University of California have linked alcoholism to an increased risk of suicide and self-harm. Work results published in BJPsych Open magazine.

The study looked at data from almost 15,000 people who were interviewed by psychiatrists about the amount of alcohol consumed and drinking patterns. The data were then compared with self-reported cases of suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, and self-harm over the past year.

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The authors observed that the expression of anxiety about alcohol abuse by loved ones was a major predictor of the risk of suicide and self-harm. For example, those whose friends, relatives, or colleagues were concerned about their drinking were three times more likely to attempt suicide, 2.5 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and 1.5 times more likely to self-harm.

A clear correlation based on level of consumption could not be identified because there were no consistent differences in the risk of suicide and self-harm between people with different amounts of alcohol intake. However, those who were in the highest consumption category, which means drinking more than 30 units of alcohol per week, faced higher risks.

In September, Yale Medical School staff (USA) declaredthat a common drug used to treat heart disease is effective in the fight against alcoholism.

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