Previous studies investigating the risk of suicide in diabetes patients reported controversial findings. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis to comprehensively estimate the risk and incidence rate of suicide in diabetic patients.
PubMed, EMBASE and PsycINFO were searched for eligible studies. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to calculate the relative risk (RR) and the incidence rate of suicide in diabetes patients. We also calculated the proportion of deaths attributable to suicide among diabetes patients.
54 studies were finally included, including 28 studies on the suicide risk associated with diabetes, 47 studies on the incidence rate of suicide and 45 studies on the proportion of deaths attributable to suicide. Meta-analysis showed that diabetes could significantly increase the risk of suicide (RR = 1.56; 95% CI: 1.29–1.89; P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that the RR of suicide associated with type 1 diabetes was 2.25 (95% CI: 1.50–3.38; P < 0.001). The pooled incidence rate of suicide in patients with diabetes was 2.35 per 10 000 person-years (95% CI: 1.51–3.64). The pooled proportions of long-term deaths attributable to suicide in type 1 diabetes patients and type 2 diabetes patients were 7.7% (95% CI: 6.0–9.8) and 1.3% (95% CI: 0.6–2.6), respectively.
This meta-analysis suggests that diabetes can significantly increase the risk of suicide. Suicide has an obvious contribution to mortality in diabetic patients, especially among type 1 diabetes patients. Effective strategies to decrease suicide risk and improve mental health outcomes in diabetes patients are needed.