Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objectives Genetic factors have been found to influence the risk of suicide. It is less clear if this also applies to attempted suicide. We have investigated genetic and familial environmental factors by studying the occurrence of suicide attempts in biological and adoptive siblings of adoptees who attempted suicide compared to siblings of adoptees with no suicide attempts. Method We used a random sample of 1933 adoptees from the Danish Adoption Register, a register of non-familial adoptions of Danish children, i.e. The adoptive parents are biologically unrelated to the adoptee. Analyses were conducted on incidence rates of attempted suicide in biological and adoptive siblings given occurrence of attempted suicide in the adoptees while also taking into account psychiatric disorders. Information about suicidal attempt and history of psychiatric disorder was based on hospital admissions. Results The rate of attempted suicide in full siblings of adoptees who attempted suicide before age 60 years was higher than in full siblings of adoptees who had not attempted suicide (incidence rate ratios (IRR)=3.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.94-12.7). After adjustment for history of psychiatric admission of siblings the increased rate was statistically significant (IRR=3.88; 95% CI - 1.42-10.6). Limitations Information on attempted suicide and psychiatric history was limited to that which involved hospitalisation. Conclusions Genetic factors influence risk of suicide attempts. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Affective Disorders

Publication Date





273 - 277