Obsetric Care and Suicide in Adult Men




Obstetric care and proneness of offspring to suicide as adults: case-control study

Bertil Jacobson, professor emeritus
Marc Bygdeman, professor
BMJ 1998;317:1346-1349 ( 14 November )

Objective

To investigate any long term effects of traumatic birth and obstetric procedures in relation to suicide by violent means in offspring as adults.

Design

Prospective case-control study.

Setting

Stockholm, Sweden.

Subjects

242 adults who committed suicide by violent means from 1978 to 1995, and who were born in one of seven hospitals in Stockholm during 1945-80, matched with 403 biological siblings born during the same period and at the same group of hospitals.

Main outcome measures

Adverse and beneficial perinatal factors expressed as relative risks (odds ratios) and 95% confidence intervals, derived from logistic regression of cases matched with their siblings.

Results

For multiple birth trauma the estimated relative risks of offspring subsequently committing suicide by violent means were 4.9 (95% confidence interval 1.8 to 13) for men and 1.04 (0.2 to 4.6) for women. In mothers who received multiple opiate treatment during delivery, the estimated relative risk of offspring subsequently committing suicide was equal for both sexes (0.26, 0.09 to 0.69).

Conclusion

Minimising pain and discomfort to the infant during birth seems to be of importance in reducing the risk of committing suicide by violent means as an adult.

Key messages