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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Level of suicidal intent predicts overall mortality and suicide after attempted suicide: a 12-year follow-up study

Kirsi Suominen12*, Erkki Isometsä1, Aini Ostamo13 and Jouko Lönnqvist1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland

2 Jorvi Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Espoo, Finland

3 Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

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BMC Psychiatry 2004, 4:11  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-11

Published: 20 April 2004



The aim of this study was to comprehensively examine clinical risk factors, including suicide intent and hopelessness, for suicide and risk of death from all causes after attempted suicide over a 12-year follow-up period.


A systematic sample of 224 patients from consecutive cases of attempted suicide referred to health care in four Finnish cities between 1 January and 31 July 1990 was interviewed.


After 12 years of follow-up 22% of these patients had died, 8% by committing suicide. The only statistically significant risk factor for eventual suicide was high scores on Beck's Suicidal Intention Scale. Male gender, older age, physical illness or disability and high scores on Beck's Suicidal Intention Scale predicted death overall.


Following attempted suicide, high intention to kill oneself is a significant risk factor for both death from all causes and suicide.

attempted suicide; suicide; outcome; follow-up studies; risk factors; suicide intent; hopelessness