Although heightened risk for suicide has long been associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD), questions remain about the potentially confounding influences of psychiatric comorbidities and familial factors.
Overall, for individuals with AUD, suicide rates in women (3.5%) and men (3.9%) were 12 and 5 times higher than the rates in those without AUD; controlling for sociodemographic factors did not substantially alter the findings. Risks were highest during the first 5 years after initial AUD diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratios: women, 128; men, 28) and tapered afterward. Risks were highest among those with earliest ages of onset, steadily decreasing with later onset. However, among people without psychiatric comorbidities (28% of the AUD cohort), individuals with AUD had even higher suicide risks than people without AUD (HRs: women, 74; men, 21).
Among individuals with AUD, suicide risks were substantially elevated and nearly as high for women as for men, were high even for individuals without psychiatric comorbidities. These results suggest the need for heightened attention regarding the potential for suicide in patients with these features.