Physical illness, functional limitations, and suicide risk: A population-based study

Mark S. Kaplan, Bentson H. McFarland, Nathalie Huguet, Jason T. Newsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess the independent association of physical illness and functional limitations with suicide mortality risk. The Cox proportional hazards model was used with data from the 1986-1994 National Health Interview Survey linked to the 1986-1997 National Death Index to analyze the effects of chronic physical illness and functional limitations on suicide deaths (ICD-9 E950-959). After controlling for potential confounders at baseline, functional limitations were shown to be a significant predictor of suicide. Also, psychiatric comorbidity increased the risk of completing suicide. Interestingly, chronic conditions alone were not predictive of suicide completion when functional limitation was added to the model. Implications for the clinical management of suicidal behavior among patients with chronic conditions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Functional limitation
  • Mortality risk
  • Physical illness
  • Prospective study
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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