Transition to suicide attempt from recent suicide ideation in U.S. Army soldiers: Results from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)

James A. Naifeh, Robert J. Ursano*, Ronald C. Kessler, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Matthew K. Nock, Catherine L. Dempsey, Danielle Bartolanzo, Tsz Hin Hinz Ng, Pablo A. Aliaga, Kelly L. Zuromski, Hieu M. Dinh, Carol S. Fullerton, Tzu Cheg Kao, Holly B.Herberman Mash, Nancy A. Sampson, Gary H. Wynn, Murray B. Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Most people with suicide ideation (SI) do not attempt suicide (SA). Understanding the transition from current/recent SI to SA is important for mental health care. Our objective was to identify characteristics that differentiate SA from 30-day SI among representative U.S. Army soldiers. Methods: Using a unique case–control design, soldiers recently hospitalized for SA (n = 132) and representative soldiers from the same four communities (n = 10,193) were administered the same questionnaire. We systematically identified variables that differentiated suicide attempters from the total population, then examined whether those same variables differentiated all 30-day ideators (n = 257) from the total population and attempters from nonattempting 30-day ideators. Results: In univariable analyses, 20 of 23 predictors were associated with SA in the total population (0.05 level). The best multivariable model included eight significant predictors: interpersonal violence, relationship problems, major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorder (all having positive associations), as well as past 12-month combat trauma, intermittent explosive disorder (IED), and any college education (all having negative associations). Six of these differentiated 30-day ideators from the population. Three differentiated attempters from ideators: past 30-day PTSD (OR = 6.7 [95% CI = 1.1–39.4]), past 30-day IED (OR = 0.2 [95% CI = 0.1–0.5]), and any college education (OR = 0.1 [95% CI = 0.0–0.6]). The 5% of ideators with highest predicted risk in this final model included 20.9% of attempters, a four-fold concentration of risk. Conclusions: Prospective army research examining transition from SI to SA should consider PTSD, IED, and education. Combat exposure did not differentiate attempters from ideators. Many SA risk factors in the Army population are actually risk factors for SI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-422
Number of pages11
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • military
  • suicide attempt
  • suicide ideation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Transition to suicide attempt from recent suicide ideation in U.S. Army soldiers: Results from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this