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This Week in Psychiatry — 7/11/11

July 12, 2011

Drug-Related Suicide Attempts Treated in the ED on the Rise in Men

The Drug Abuse Warning Network recently released a report detailing the increase in emergency department (ED) visits by men owing to drug-related suicide attempts. They found that drug-related suicide attempts accounted for 77,971 ED visits in men 21–34 years of age in 2009—an increase of 54.6% since 2005. ED visits associated with pain relievers increased by 60.2%, antidepressants by 155.2%, and anxiety or insomnia medications by 93.4%. Suicide attempt-related ED visits due to narcotic pain relievers increased from 2,380 in 2005 to 4,270 in 2009 in men between 24–49 years of age, and increased from 882 visits in 2005 to 2,589 visits in 2009 in men >50 years of age.

When Antidepressant Combinations Square Off Against Monotherapy

Several antidepressant combinations did not outperform SSRI monotherapy in 665 outpatients with chronic/recurrent MDD. Researchers measured response and remission rates (defined by a score of <8 and <6 on 2 consecutive QIDSSR16) for the following combinations: escitalopram and placebo (12-week remission rate 38.8%); sustained-released bupropion and escitalopram (38.9%); extended-release venlafaxine and mirtazapine (37.7%). Remission rates and response rates did not differ significantly at 7-month follow-up; the venlafaxine and mirtazapine combination also carried a higher number of adverse events (5.7) than the escitalopram and placebo combination (4.7). This study was published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Prevalence of Adolescent Eating Disorders: Cross-Sectional Results

A population-based cross-sectional study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, evaluated the prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in US adolescents. Over 10,000 adolescents from 13–18 years of age were assessed in person. Lifetime prevalence estimates were 0.3% for anorexia nervosa, 0.9% for bulimia nervosa, and 1.6% for binge eating disorder. A majority of respondents received some treatment, but only a minority of treatment-seekers received treatment specifically for an eating disorder. Significant psychiatric comorbidity and suicidality were also reported in this population.

“This Week in Psychiatry” is written Christopher Naccari and Lonnie Stoltzfoos

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