Chronic abdominal pain syndromes may increase the risk of suicidal behavior, which is a feature well described in non-visceral pain syndromes.
Dr Spiegel and colleagues from the USA performed a systematic review to summarize and interpret published data linking chronic abdominal pain syndromes and suicidal behavior.
|IBS patients were 2 to 4 times more likely to have suicidal behavior|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The research team performed a structured search to identify studies pertaining to the prevalence of suicidal behavior in patients with chronic abdominal pain syndromes, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The researchers assessed whether the prevalence of suicidal behavior in chronic abdominal pain syndromes higher than in matched controls.
The team also evaluated whether suicidal behavior in abdominal pain syndromes are simply due to psychiatric co-morbidities.
The researchers identified 32 relevant titles, of which 6 manuscripts describing 8 studies, met inclusion criteria.
Patients with non-IBS syndromes were 3 to 11 times more likely to demonstrate suicidal behavior vs controls.
However, the team noted that patients with IBS were 2 to 4 times more likely to have suicidal behavior.
Chronic abdominal pain was an independent predictor of suicidal behavior after adjusting for co-morbid psychiatric conditions.
Dr Spiegel's team concluded, "Chronic abdominal pain syndromes increase the risk for suicidal behaviors."
"This relationship may exist independently of co-morbid depression, although additional research is needed to better understand this link."
"These data indicate that clinicians should survey for suicidal behaviour in chronic abdominal pain patients."