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Alcohol, insomnia linked to suicide, research team finds

Date:
March 10, 2015
Source:
Mississippi State University
Summary:
Insomnia symptoms affect the risk of suicide among people who drink alcohol, according to a groundbreaking study. The new study—the first of its kind—demonstrates how wakefulness is connected to the relationship between alcohol use and suicide risk. The work also details how professional assessment and treatment of specific sleep problems may reduce the suicide risk for people who drink alcohol.
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Insomnia symptoms affect the risk of suicide among people who drink alcohol, according to a groundbreaking study led by the director of Mississippi State University’s Sleep, Suicide and Aging Laboratory.

Principal investigator Michael R. Nadorff, an assistant professor of psychology, headed the multi-institutional team representing MSU, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Emory University’s School of Medicine in Atlanta, and the Veterans Integrated Service Network 19 in Glendale, Colorado.

The new study—the first of its kind—demonstrates how wakefulness is connected to the relationship between alcohol use and suicide risk. The work also details how professional assessment and treatment of specific sleep problems may reduce the suicide risk for people who drink alcohol.

“Though our study is preliminary, based upon these findings and the broader literature, patients and clinicians should consider insomnia as an additional warning sign of potential suicidal behavior, not just a symptom of other warning signs, such as depression or alcohol use,” Nadorff said.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list suicide as the 10th leading cause of U.S. deaths, while excessive alcohol use is connected to approximately 88,000 deaths annually.

“We examined whether insomnia symptoms explained a significant portion of the relation between alcohol symptoms and suicide risk,” said Nadorff, a West Virginia University doctoral graduate who completed a doctoral internship at Baylor’s College of Medicine. “We found that for both men and women, insomnia symptoms explained a significant amount of the variance in the relation between alcohol use and suicide risk.”

The MSU-led team’s study, “Explaining Alcohol Use and Suicide Risk: A Moderated Mediation Model Involving Insomnia Symptoms and Gender,” was published in the December 2014 edition of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Mississippi State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael R. Nadorff, Taban Salem, E. Samuel Winer, Dorian A. Lamis, Sarra Nazem, Mitchell E. Berman. Explaining Alcohol Use and Suicide Risk: A Moderated Mediation Model Involving Insomnia Symptoms and Gender. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.4288

Cite This Page:

Mississippi State University. "Alcohol, insomnia linked to suicide, research team finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150310174006.htm>.
Mississippi State University. (2015, March 10). Alcohol, insomnia linked to suicide, research team finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150310174006.htm
Mississippi State University. "Alcohol, insomnia linked to suicide, research team finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150310174006.htm (accessed May 8, 2017).