Low serum cholesterol is correlated to suicidality in a Korean sample

Yong Ku Kim, Heon Jeong Lee, Ji Yeon Kim, Do Kyung Yoon, So Hyun Choi, Min Soo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine further the association between low total serum cholesterol and suicidal behaviour. Method: We measured the serum cholesterol levels in 231 patients admitted to an emergency room following a suicide attempt, in 231 age-, sex- and diagnosis-matched non-suicidal psychiatric controls, and in 231 age- and sex-matched normal controls. The suicide attempt patients were divided into five grades according to the degree of injury. Results: The mean total cholesterol level of the suicide attempt patients was significantly lower than that of the psychiatric and normal controls. When the suicide attempt patients and non-suicidal psychiatric controls were divided by diagnosis, this significant relationship held true for major depressive disorders and personality disorders, but not for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Cholesterol level and the severity of suicide attempt were inversely correlated. Conclusion: The results suggest that cholesterol level may serve as a marker for suicide risk. Possible explanations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cholesterol
  • Major depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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