Epidemiology: Risk Factor Research

Risk Factors for Postpartum Suicide and Parasuicide

Principal Investigator: Melissa Schiff, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Washington Department of Epidemiology
Funding Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The investigators will determine the risk factors for suicide and suicide attempts among women in the postpartum year. Using vital records data, they will identify all childbearing women in Washington state from 1989 to 2001 who die or are hospitalized in the postpartum year for suicide attempts. These women’s hospitalization and death certificate data will be linked to their live birth or fetal death certificate data. The investigators will compare the postpartum women who attempt or complete suicide to normal postpartum women to determine the differences in their demographic information, including age, education level, marital status, number of prior pregnancies and their outcomes, current pregnancy complications and outcomes, prenatal use of cigarettes and alcohol, and psychiatric history.