Prevalence of suicidality among hispanic and African American veterans following surgery

Laurel A. Copeland, Raphael T. McIntyre, Eileen M. Stock, John E. Zeber, Daniel J. MacCarthy, Mary Jo Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives. We evaluated factors associated with suicidal behavior and ideation (SBI) during 3 years of follow-up among 89 995 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients who underwent major surgery from October 2005 to September 2006. Methods. We analyzed administrative data using Cox proportional hazards models. SBI was ascertained by International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision codes. Results. African Americans (18% of sample; 16 252)were at an increased risk for SBI (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.10, 1.32), whereas Hispanics were not (HR = 1.10; 95% CI = 0.95, 1.28). Other risk factors included schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain disorders, postoperative new-onset depression, and postoperative complications; female gender and married status were protective against SBI. Conclusions. The postoperative period might be a time of heightened risk for SBI among minority patients in the VHA. Tailored monitoring and postoperative management by minority status might be required to achieve care equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S603-S608
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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