Evaluate suicide attempt prevalence and potentially related sociodemographic and psychiatric factors among racial and ethnic groups.
Between 2012 and 2013, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III) conducted semi-structured interviews with 36,309 adults in the USA. We identified lifetime suicide attempt prevalence and significant predictors for each racial/ethnic group using stratified logistic regressions. Analyses were exploratory without a priori hypotheses.
Asian/Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander and Black individuals had the lowest prevalence of suicide attempts while Alaska Native/American Indian and White individuals had the highest prevalence. Identifying as female and meeting criteria for psychiatric diagnoses featuring mood regulation difficulties (depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar I disorder) were consistently related to a suicide attempt history across racial and ethnic groups, whereas substance abuse disorders and other sociodemographic factors differed between racial and ethnic groups in their associations with suicide attempt history.
Although several factors were consistently related to suicide risk across racial and ethnic groups, the prevalence of suicide attempts and overall pattern of related factors were not uniform between racial and ethnic groups.
Study findings highlight the importance of considering suicide risk within the context of race and ethnicity both regarding the overall prevalence of risk and in determining personal factors associated with elevated risk. A failure to appreciate experiences related to race and ethnicity may adversely impact suicide risk assessment and treatment, ultimately contributing to health disparities. Results suggest that additional research is warranted.