A Swedish population-based study to evaluate the usefulness of resting heart rate in the prediction of suicidal behavior among males

Séverine Lannoy, Henrik Ohlsson, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist, Alexis C. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Resting heart rate has been distinctly related to both internalizing (high pulse) and externalizing (low pulse) disorders. We aimed to explore the associations between resting heart rate and suicidal behavior (nonfatal suicide attempt [SA] and suicide death [SD]) and evaluate if such associations exist beyond the effects of internalizing/externalizing symptomatology. Method: We used Cox proportional hazards models to evaluate the associations between resting heart rate (age 19) and later SA/SD in 357,290 Swedish men. Models were controlled for internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders, and resilience (the ability to deal with adversity). Co-relative analysis (comparing pairs of different genetic relatedness) was used to control for unmeasured family confounders and improve causal inference. Results: In baseline models, low resting heart rate was associated with SA (HR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.95,0.98) and high resting heart rate with SD (HR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.002,1.07). The association with SA remained after adjustment for all confounders (HR = 0.98). However, the association with SD did not persist after controlling for covariates. Co-relative analysis did not support causal associations. Conclusions: Our findings raise interesting etiological questions for the understanding of suicidal behaviors but do not support the usefulness of resting heart rate in suicide prediction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • death
  • pulse
  • resilience
  • suicide attempt

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