Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Body Mass Index in Young Adulthood and Suicidal Behavior up to Age 59 in a Cohort of Swedish Men
Show others and affiliations
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 7, e101213- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An association of higher body mass index (BMI) with lower risk of attempted and completed suicide has been reported. In contrast, increasing BMI has been found to be associated with depression and other risk factors for suicidal behavior. We aimed to investigate this possible paradox in a cohort comprising 49 000 Swedish men. BMI, mental health, lifestyle and socioeconomic measures were recorded at conscription in 1969-70, at ages 18-20. Information on attempted suicide 1973-2008 and completed suicide 1971-2008 was obtained from national records. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated by Cox proportional hazard models. We found that each standard deviation (SD) increase in BMI was associated with a 12% lower risk of later suicide attempt (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.83-0.94). Associations were somewhat weaker for completed suicide and did not reach conventional levels of statistical significance (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.85-1.01). Adjustment for a wide range of possible confounding factors had little effect on the associations. Lower BMI at conscription was also associated with higher prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses, low emotional control and depressed mood. Our results confirm previous findings regarding the association of higher BMI with a reduced risk of suicide, extending them to show similar findings in relation to suicide attempts. The associations were little affected by adjustment for a range of possible confounding factors. However, we found no evidence that high BMI was associated with an increased risk of depression cross-sectionally or longitudinally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 7, e101213- p.
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107047DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101213ISI: 000339635000069OAI: diva2:742989


Available from: 2014-09-03 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hemmingsson, Tomas
By organisation
Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD)
In the same journal
SociologyPublic Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 37 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link