Patients with dementia may be at an increased suicide risk. Identifying groups at greatest risk of suicide would support targeted risk reduction efforts by clinical dementia services.
In this study, Alothman et al. examine the association between a dementia diagnosis and suicide risk in the general population and to identify high-risk subgroups. They found that dementia was associated with increased risk of suicide in specific patient subgroups: those diagnosed before age 65 years (particularly in the 3-month postdiagnostic period), those in the first 3 months after diagnosis, and those with known psychiatric comorbidities.
Given the current efforts to improve rates of dementia diagnosis, these findings emphasise the importance of concurrent implementation of suicide risk assessment for the identified high-risk groups.