Suicide risk in systemic lupus erythematosus: A narrative review

Solange Barros, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho


Introduction: Despite the medical and scientific advances, the disease’s restrictions and the perception of personal and social losses related to its course reinforce fear and generate intense suffering in lupus patients. Psychiatric comorbidities, especially major depressive episodes, are highly prevalent during systemic lupus erythematosus. Among them, suicide is a behavior that is much more common than we believe.

Objective: To perform a narrative review on suicidal behavior associated with systemic erythematosus lupus (SLE).

Results: Studies have shown an increased risk of suicide among patients with chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders, especially depression. However, suicide cannot be attributed only to a higher prevalence of depression and other mental illnesses. Therefore, it is necessary to learn more about the suicide risk factors present in patients with lupus to work on secondary prevention and avoid the premature loss of lives and the additional suffering of families and surrounding communities. The coordination between the studies on suicidal behavior and its intricate network of individual and sociocultural factors and the studies on this multisystem autoimmune disease with a broad manifestation spectrum, lupus, creates new and essential field research.

Conclusions: Non-psychiatrist office-based physicians, health clinics, or wards dedicated to the treatment of SLE should recognize and handle the suicide risk factors on their patients to reduce the suffering caused by this disease.

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Discussion of Clinical Cases  ISSN 2375-8449(Print)  ISSN 2375-8473(Online)

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