Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. Prevalence of suicidality increased significantly over a 12-year period among childbearing persons.

2. The prevalence of suicidality with comorbid depression or anxiety increased significantly over this same time period.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Suicide death is consistently a leading cause of mortality in the United States. Maternal mortality is also affected by suicidality, ranging from suicide ideation and self-harm to death. This serial cross-sectional study used data from medical claims for a commercially insured U.S. population from January 2006 to December 2017. A total of 595,237 childbearing individuals were analyzed (M [SD] age = 31.9 [6.4] years), which included 2,714 diagnoses of suicidality within one year before or after 698,239 deliveries. Approximately 63.1% were White, 12.1% were Hispanic, 8.6% were Black, 6.8% were Asian, and 9.5% had missing race/ethnicity data. From 2006 to 2017, the prevalence of suicide ideation increased from 0.1% per 100 persons to 0.5% per 100 individuals (SE = .02, p<.001). Overall suicidality prevalence increased during this time period as well (difference 0.4%, SE = .04, p<.001). Diagnoses of suicidality with comorbid psychotic or bipolar disorders increased by 10.1% in this timeframe (SE = .2, p<.001), along with comorbid depression or anxiety increasing by 1.4% (SE = .2, p<.001). The greatest increases were among those of lower socioeconomic status, non-Hispanic Black race/ethnicity, and younger chronological age. In sum, this study demonstrated a significant increase in suicidality prevalence over a 12-year period among childbearing persons. Given these trends, it is important to adequately assess for suicidality among this population and develop health policies that cater to these needs.

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