Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., F.A.E.D., University North Carolina
Distinguished Investigator Grant (2009): $98,406
Factors Associated with Suicide in Youth and Adults with Eating Disorders
Abstract: Individuals with anorexia nervosa are over 50 times more likely to commit suicide than their age matched peers. Risk is elevated in other eating disorders as well. This investigation will link extensive diagnostic information obtained from the Swedish Twin Registry to the Swedish Cause of Death Register and Hospital Discharge Registry in order to explore prospectively and concurrently measured personality, environmental, and psychopathological factors associated with suicide attempts and completed suicide in individuals with eating disorders. The research plan is to prospectively identify assessed risk factors and correlates of suicide attempts and completed suicide in individuals with eating disorders. Analyses will focus on identifying genetic and environmental factors influencing liability to eating disorders and suicide in order to assist with identifying individuals who are most at risk. By enhancing our ability to identify individuals at risk, these results will provide guidelines for clinicians and families to enhance their assessment and detection of risk factors. Our unique ability to assess risk factors across age cohorts will also allow tailoring of any resultant recommendations by age.