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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1731
Camardese G., Sarchiapone M., De Risio S.
Background and aims. Earlier studies suggested that plasma cholesterol appeared to be correlated with an increase in the incidence of suicide and the dysregulation of the serotoninergic system was put forward to explain this apparently incomprehensible phenomenon. The aim of this study was to analyse the lipid and protein profile in patients admitted to hospital for acute voluntary drug intoxication and to examine the alterations in relation to the diagnosis of depression.
Methods. A retrospective study was performed in 119 patients (mean age: 35.2±16.6; M/F 88/31) without organic and metabolic diseases or acute stress. The data, assayed in a blood sample taken within 24 hours of hospitalisation, were compared with those in a matched control group.
Results. Plasma cholesterol was lower in patients compared to controls (171±31 mg/dl vs 196±35 mg/dl; p<0.001), and a marked reduction in total proteins was also observed (mean value: 6.54±0.57 g/dl vs 7.29±0.42 g/dl; p<0.0001) associated with an increase in alfa2 globulins (mean value: 9.3±2.1% vs 7.8±1.2%). The reduction in total proteins appeared to be correlated, albeit weakly, with reduced cholesterol. By examining depressed and non-depressed patients separately, no statistically significant differences were found for any of the variables in question.
Conclusions. The response of the acute phase found in patients was independent of the diagnosis of depression and might, in the authors' opinion, represent the single element able to explain the metabolic alterations and changes in peripheral blood observed in patients with suicidal behaviour.