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Epileptics likelier to commit suicide than others

Washington: According to a new study, patients with epilepsy are more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

The analysis of data from the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) found that the annual suicide mortality rate among those with epilepsy was about 16 percent higher than that seen in the general population, according to researcher Niu Tian and colleagues.

But according to a separate study, a simple screening test may prevent self-harm in the youngest epilepsy patients. An electronic health record (EHR)-based questionnaire prevented 13 suicides among some 400 children with epilepsy, said Tatiana Falcone of the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues.

Routine screening at least every 6 months for mood disorders and suicidal ideation could aid in early referral and appropriate treatment and potentially save lives, Falcone and colleagues wrote.

Both groups reported their findings during a poster session at the American Epilepsy Society meeting. (ANI)