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Personality disorder and suicide risk among patients in the veterans affairs health system.

Nelson SM, Griffin CA, Hein TC, Bowersox N, McCarthy JF. Personality disorder and suicide risk among patients in the veterans affairs health system. Personality disorders. 2022 Nov 1; 13(6):563-571.

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Among veterans in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care, patients with mental health and substance use conditions experience elevated suicide rates. However, despite previously demonstrated high rates of suicidal behavior, little is known regarding suicide rates among veteran VHA users with personality disorders (PDs) as a whole, or by PD clusters (A: Eccentric; B: Dramatic; C: Fearful; and PD-not otherwise specified). PD prevalence and suicide rates were assessed through 2017; overall and by clusters for 5,517,024 veterans alive as of 12/31/2013 and with more than 2 VHA encounters in 2012-2013. In all, 46,050 (.83%) had a PD diagnosis in 2012-2013. Suicide risk was examined using proportional hazards regressions adjusted for age, sex, veteran status, clustering within a geographic region, and other mental health diagnoses. Patients with PDs had greater suicide risk than those without (156.5 vs. 46.7 per 100,000 person-years). Individuals in Cluster B, which includes borderline and antisocial PDs, were at the highest risk (178.5 per 100,000 person-years), followed by PD-not otherwise specified and Cluster C (152.6 and 121.4 per 100,000 person-years, respectively). Rates of PDs in the VHA system were lower than those usually found in community samples. Veterans with a PD diagnosis had an increased risk of suicide, which was especially elevated for those with Cluster B diagnoses. Study findings document the importance of enhancing diagnosis and treatment for veterans with PDs and targeted suicide prevention services. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

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