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Suicide attempt and n-3 fatty acid levels in red blood cells: A case control study in china

  • Mingming Huan
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Application (MH, KH, MI, SW, TH), Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama-City, Japan
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  • Kei Hamazaki
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Application (MH, KH, MI, SW, TH), Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama-City, Japan
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  • Yueji Sun
    Affiliations
    Department of Neuropsychology (YS), Dalian Medical University
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  • Miho Itomura
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Application (MH, KH, MI, SW, TH), Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama-City, Japan
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  • Hongyan Liu
    Affiliations
    Psychiatry Department (HL), Dalian Friendship Hospital
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  • Wei Kang
    Affiliations
    Dalian Blood Component Analysis Center (WK), Dalian-City, Liaoning-Province, China
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  • Shiro Watanabe
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Application (MH, KH, MI, SW, TH), Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama-City, Japan
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  • Katsutoshi Terasawa
    Affiliations
    University Hospital (KT), Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama-City, Japan
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  • Tomohito Hamazaki
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests to Tomohito Hamazaki, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Clinical Application, Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama-City, Toyama 930-0194, Japan
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Application (MH, KH, MI, SW, TH), Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama-City, Japan
    Search for articles by this author

      Background

      Epidemiologic studies show that low fish intake is a risk factor of suicidality; however, there are no case–control studies investigating suicide attempt risk and tissue n-3 fatty acid levels.

      Methods

      We recruited 100 suicide-attempt cases and another 100 control patients injured by accidents who were admitted to three hospitals affiliated with Dalian Medical University in Dalian, China. Case and control subjects were matched for age, gender, and smoking status. Those who were inebriated at the time of hospitalization were excluded. Blood was sampled immediately after admission to a hospital. Washed red blood cells (RBCs) were obtained, and the fatty acid composition of the total RBC phospholipid fraction was analyzed by gas chromatography.

      Results

      Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) levels in RBC in the case subjects were significantly lower than those of the control subjects (.74 ± .52% vs. 1.06 ± .62%, p < .0001). When the highest and lowest quartiles of EPA in RBC were compared, the odds ratios of suicide attempt was .12 in the highest quartile (95% confidence interval: .04–.36, p for trend = .0001) after adjustment for possible confounding factors

      Conclusions

      Our findings suggest that low n-3 fatty acid levels in tissues were a risk factor of suicide attempt. Further studies including intervention with fish oil are warranted.

      Keywords

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