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In Psychological medicine ; h5-index 82.0

BACKGROUND : There is still little knowledge of objective suicide risk stratification.

METHODS : This study aims to develop models using machine-learning approaches to predict suicide attempt (1) among survey participants in a nationally representative sample and (2) among participants with lifetime major depressive episodes. We used a cohort called the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) that was conducted in two waves and included a nationally representative sample of the adult population in the United States. Wave 1 involved 43 093 respondents and wave 2 involved 34 653 completed face-to-face reinterviews with wave 1 participants. Predictor variables included clinical, stressful life events, and sociodemographic variables from wave 1; outcome included suicide attempt between wave 1 and wave 2.

RESULTS : The model built with elastic net regularization distinguished individuals who had attempted suicide from those who had not with an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.89, balanced accuracy 81.86%, specificity 89.22%, and sensitivity 74.51% for the general population. For participants with lifetime major depressive episodes, AUC was 0.89, balanced accuracy 81.64%, specificity 85.86%, and sensitivity 77.42%. The most important predictor variables were a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and being of Asian descent for the model in all participants; and previous suicide attempt, borderline personality disorder, and overnight stay in hospital because of depressive symptoms for the model in participants with lifetime major depressive episodes. Random forest and artificial neural networks had similar performance.

CONCLUSIONS : Risk for suicide attempt can be estimated with high accuracy.

Machado Cristiane Dos Santos, Ballester Pedro L, Cao Bo, Mwangi Benson, Caldieraro Marco Antonio, Kapczinski Flávio, Passos Ives Cavalcante


NESARC, Suicide, depression, machine learning, prediction