Increased suicide attempt risk in people with epilepsy in the presence of concurrent psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

Irene Faiman*, John Hodsoll, Allan H. Young, Paul Shotbolt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives To test the hypothesis that people with concurrent diagnosis of epilepsy and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are at increased risk of attempting suicide as compared to people with epilepsy or PNES alone. To report on suicide rates. Methods Retrospective cohort study from the UK largest tertiary mental health care provider, with linked nationwide admission and mortality data from the Hospital Episode Statistics and Office for National Statistics. Participants were 2460 people with a primary or secondary diagnosis of epilepsy, PNES or concurrent epilepsy and PNES attending between 1 January 2007 and 18 June 2021. The primary outcome was a first hospital admission for suicide attempt (International Classification of Diseases, version 10 X60-X84). Results 9% of participants had at least one suicide attempt-related hospital admission. For people with concurrent diagnosis of epilepsy and PNES, the odds for suicide attempt-related admissions were 2.52 times the odds of people with epilepsy alone (OR 0.40; 95% CI 0.21 to 0.79; p=0.01). Odds were comparable between people with concurrent diagnosis and people with PNES alone (OR 0.75; 95% CI 0.41 to 1.48; p=0.40). Post hoc analyses revealed that the odds of people with PNES alone were 1.93 times the odds of people with epilepsy alone (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.38 to 0.70; p<0.001). Conclusions People with concurrent diagnosis of epilepsy and PNES or PNES alone have significantly increased odds of hospitalisation due to suicide attempt as compared to people with epilepsy alone (152% and 93% increase, respectively). These findings have direct implications for the clinical management of suicide risk in people with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-901
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Volume93
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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