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Trends in incidence and associated risk factors of suicide mortality among breast cancer patients

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Objective Breast cancer patients are associated with an increased risk for committing suicide. The purpose of this study is to study the trends in the incidence of suicide mortality and identify pertinent risk factors among patients with breast cancer. Methods A retrospective examination of the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database between years 1973 and 2013 was performed. Results Overall, 474,128 patients were identified of which 773 had committed suicide. There were no significant differences in the incidence of suicide mortality over the last three decades (1984‐1993: 0.14%, 1994‐2003: 0.16%, 2004‐2013: 0.17%, p=0.173). On logistic regression, younger age (<30 y: OR 6.34, 95% CI: 1.98‐20.33, p=0.002, 30‐49 y: OR 10.64, 95% CI: 7.97‐14.2, p<0.001, 50‐69 y: OR 4.7, 95% CI: 3.64‐6.07, p<0.001), male sex (OR 4.34, 95% CI: 2.57‐7.31, p<0.001), non‐white‐non‐black race (OR 1.39, 95% CI: 1.01‐1.91, p=0.046), marital status (single: OR 1.35, 95% CI: 1.04‐1.76, p=0.024, separated/divorced/widowed: OR 1.25, 95% CI: 1.01‐1.55, p=0.043), undergoing surgery (OR 2.13, 95% CI: 1.23‐3.67, p=0.007) and short time elapsed from diagnosis (1st year: OR 4.67, 95% CI: 3.39‐6.42, p<0.001, 2nd year: OR 2.35, 95% CI: 1.69‐3.27, p<0.001) were independent risk factors of suicide mortality. Conclusions There have been no identifiable improvements in preventing suicide mortality in the United States. Younger age, male sex, race, marital status and undergoing surgery are independent risk factors for committing suicide, especially in the first year after diagnosis.