Perinatal conditions and parental age at birth as risk markers for subsequent suicide attempt and suicide: a population based case-control study.
Restricted fetal growth and young maternal age have been associated with increased risk of suicidal behaviour later in life. Research investigating the independent and interacting effects of these risk factors with parental mental health and socio-economic status is scarce. A case-control study was effected through record linkage between Swedish registers. Individuals born 1973-1983 who were hospitalized due to a suicide attempt (n = 17,159) or committed suicide (n = 1,407) were matched to ?10 controls by sex, month and county of birth. Controlling for parental conditions, significantly increased odds ratios (OR) for suicide attempt were found for low birth weight (OR = 1.12, 95 % CI 1.01-1.25), short birth length (OR = 1.15, 95 % CI 1.08-1.22), short and light for gestational age (OR = 1.23, 95 % CI: 1.10-1.38), short but not light for gestational age (OR = 1.18, 95 % CI: 1.09, 1.29), teenage motherhood (OR = 1.66, 95 % CI 1.53-1.80), young fatherhood (OR = 1.33, 95 % CI 1.27-1.39) and multiparity (OR = 1.40, 95 % CI 1.31-1.50). For completed suicide, increased odds ratios were found for low birth weight (OR = 1.65, 95 % CI 1.16-2.35), teenage motherhood (OR = 1.44, 95 % CI 1.09-1.90) and young fatherhood (OR = 1.20, 95 % CI 1.02-1.41). There was a synergy effect between teenage motherhood and parental psychiatric inpatient care with regard to suicide attempt in offspring [synergy index = 1.53 (95 % CI 1.27-1.84)]. Low birth weight and length, and short and light for gestational age may increase the risk of subsequent suicidal behaviour, and more research is needed to investigate underlying mechanisms. Public health implications from this study include measures to improve pre- and perinatal parental mental health, particularly in teenage pregnancies.