Nurose Karim, MD

International Stroke Conference 2021
March 17–19, 2021
Poster P237

Vyas MV, Wang JZ, Gao MM, Hackam DG. Association Between Stroke and Subsequent Risk of Suicide: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Stroke. 2021.

“What remains in diseases after the crisis is apt to produce relapses.”
— Hippocrates, Aphorisms

This article very well summarizes the impact of stroke on mental health. Stroke survivors, overall, struggle with the adjustment not only due to the illness itself, but the overall impact of it on their lifestyle. Stroke survivors are more likely to be unemployed, have greater lost productivity, and have higher disability from physical, cognitive and mental sequalae of stroke, which may confer the observed higher risk of suicide.

The authors did a systematic review of the literature from inception until September 2020 and finally included 23 studies. The outcome of interest was suicide, which included suicide attempts and deaths by suicide in stroke survivors. 51.9% were women, and the average age was 63.5 years. They found a higher risk of suicide compared to the non-stroke group which persisted in the adjusted analysis. On the subgroup analyses by suicide outcome, there was a higher adjusted risk of suicide attempt in stroke survivors than of death by suicide with the P value difference = 0.03.

The study concluded that the risk of suicide was lower with increasing follow-up time, and the risk of suicide attempt was significantly higher than death by suicide. This was consistent with previous reports on risk factors for suicide outcomes.