Richard Neugebauer, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University
Suicide Research Grant (2008): $63,750
Suicidality among Childbearing Women
Abstract: Although postpartum depression and suicide have been studied fairly extensively, much less is know about how other conditions associated with childbearing such as pregnancy or infant mortality, influence maternal risk for suicide and attempted suicide. This study will analyze 20 years (1985-2004) of population data on New York City women of childbearing age to determine rates of suicide and attempted suicide during pregnancy, in the first postpartum year and after the death of an infant. These rates will then be compared to those in the general population of NYC women of childbearing age. The study, which will involve linking data available from the national census, state and city health departments, offices of vital statistics, hospital emergency room and inpatient records, and many other data sources, will aim in particular to identify subgroups of women who are at elevated risk for suicidality during or following these critical events. The investigators anticipate that, since women usually have extensive contact with the healthcare system during pregnancy and following childbirth, study results might lead to the development of new interventions for at-risk groups.