North Carolina study of veterans shows link between certain genes and suicidal tendencies
A study of military veterans led by Duke Health and the Durham V.A. shows a link between certain genes and suicidal tendencies. The breakthrough could to lead to new medications that help with suicide prevention.
Co-lead author Nathan Kimbrel says the study was a "monumental" effort with hundreds of thousands of vets participating.
"Even after you account for known factors like age and sex we know that veterans are about 50 percent more at-risk for dying by suicide than their civilian counterparts," he said.
The study showed a series of certain genes found in veterans who had thoughts about, attempted, or died by suicide versus participants without a history of such behaviors.
Kimbrel says the next step is a genome study that looks at why people exposed to some risk factors for suicide go on to attempt it and others do not.