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Risk of Suicide with a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's




Initially, the risk of suicide with a diagnosis of Dementia was increased in the months after a diagnosis, based on a study done in Denmark in the 1990's. However, in the recent decades, as early as 1995, community awareness support programs for people with Dementia and Alzheimer's have improved, including improved health‐care services, social‐care services, and the coordination of agencies for persons with dementia, in countries such as Japan (see article).


Now, a 2019 study from people in Denmark showed the rate of suicide after a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease was actually reduced by 80% compared to rate of suicide in the normal population! A diagnosis of Dementia lowered the risk of suicide by 20%. This shows perhaps that being more specific about a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, rather than just a general diagnosis of "Dementia" helps people find more specific information about their diagnosis, online information, support groups, and community services, such as with the Alzheimer's Association.


However, be forewarned! In this same study, an increased number of hospital admissions more than doubled the suicide risk, depending on the number of admissions (1 admission was associated with a 70% higher risk, 4 admissions was associated with a 210% higher risk). Even more reason to avoid getting admitted to the hospital when you have Alzheimer's or Dementia!


Suicide rates were higher for people with a head injury, stroke, epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington's Disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). (See article)


I would love to hear your comments or questions about this below.

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