Severe Tinnitus Associated with Suicide Attempts in Women

JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 11 A.M. (ET), THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2019

Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Christopher R. Cederroth, Ph.D., email christopher.cederroth@ki.se. The full study is linked to this news release.

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Bottom Line: Previously, severe ringing in the ears (tinnitus) has been associated with depression and anxiety, and a 2016 study reported an association with increased risk of suicide attempts. This study used responses to a questionnaire from about 72,000 adults in Sweden to examine whether an association with increased risk of suicide attempts might be different between men and women. Of 874 women who reported severe tinnitus, 82 (9.4%) reported attempting suicide; of 1,121 men who reported severe tinnitus, 62 (5.5%) reported a suicide attempt. After analyses, an association between severe tinnitus and suicide attempt remained statistically significant only in women. Individuals who had a formal diagnosis of tinnitus weren’t at increased risk for a suicide attempt, suggesting medical attention may help to alleviate quality of life impairments. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an established approach. A limitation of the study is its reliance on self-reported tinnitus.

Authors: Christopher R. Cederroth, Ph.D., Karolinska lnstitutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and coauthors

 

(doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.0566)

Editor’s Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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