Suicidal thoughts linked to low blood pressure

Suicidal thoughts linked to low blood pressure

Low blood pressure may increase the risk for suicidal ideation, new research shows.


Among more than 10,000 South Korean adults, those with systolic blood pressure (SBP) <100 mm Hg were at higher risk of having suicidal thoughts compared to their peers with normal blood pressure, Medscape reports. 


The study was published online March 1 in BMC Public Health.


"Although previous studies suggested that low blood pressure is associated with neuropsychological problems, including depression and anxiety, no studies have investigated the association between low blood pressure and suicidal ideation, which is an indicator of a negative psychiatric state," Sung-il Cho, MD, from Seoul National University, said in a statement.


More Common in Women


The researchers analyzed data on 10,708 adults who participated in the 2010-2013 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Overall, 1199 (11.2%) had experienced suicidal ideation, identified by asking one of two questions: "Have you ever felt inclined to commit suicide over the last year?" (2010-2012) and "Have you ever considered suicide seriously over the last year?" (2013).

Suicidal ideation was more common in women than men (12.9% vs 7.8%) and in those aged 70 years and older (20.8%).


According to the investigators, 10.8% of people with normal blood pressure had experienced suicidal ideation. For people with low SBP, this proportion increased to 12.5% in those with SBP <100 mm Hg, 13.7% in those with SBP <95 mm Hg, and 16.6% in those with SBP <90 mm Hg.


Compared with the normotensive reference group, the likelihood for suicidal ideation was significantly higher in those hypotensive groups with SBP <100 mm Hg, < 95 mm Hg, and < 90 mm Hg after adjusting for sex, age, body mass index, total cholesterol level, household income, educational level, marital status, current smoking status, alcohol intake, and the interaction between sex and age.