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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Suicide Rates Have Decreased With Increased Use of SSRIs, New-Generation Non-SSRIs
Medscape, 2-7-05

A recent article in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that although “antidepressant medication prescription was not significantly related to suicide rate,” prescriptions for SSRIs and other newer antidepressants “were associated with lower suicide rates, both within and among counties.”

The study collected data from all US suicides from 1996 to 1998, and calculated county level suicide rates divided by age, sex, income and race, along with antidepressant use “expressed as the number of pills prescribed.”

The study’s main outcome “was the suicide rate in each county expressed as the number of suicides for a given population size.”

While noting that their aggregate data doesn’t establish a causal relationship between newer antidepressants and lower suicide rates, it may be “a marker for those counties with more limited access to quality mental health care and inadequate treatment and detection of depression, which in turn can lead to increased suicide rates.”



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