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The risk of suicide attempt by a child or adolescent is highest after a contact with a psychiatric department

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Is there an increased risk of children and adolescents committing or attempting suicide after contact with a psychiatric department?


72 765 people born in Denmark between 1983 and 1989 (3465 cases and 69 300 controls). Data for every individual born in the eligible period were extracted from Danish national registers (403 431 individuals). Of the total number, 3465 had attempted suicide (cases) between their 10th birthday and 31 December 2005, when they would be up to the age of 22 years. Each of these cases was matched with 20 non-suicidal controls for age, gender and being alive at the time of the suicide attempt.


General population, Denmark; from 1983 to 2005.

Prognostic factors

The focal prognostic factor was contact with a psychiatric department. This was defined as use of psychiatric services provided by psychiatric hospital units, including hospitalisation, outpatient treatment, emergency psychiatric services and all other day and night services. Admissions to psychiatric wards on the day of an attempted suicide and suicide attempts made on the first day of admission to a psychiatric department were excluded. The analyses were adjusted for …

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  • Sources of funding Not reported.


  • Competing interests None.