A gender-specific association between the serotonin transporter gene and suicide attempts

Enrique Baca-García, Concepción Vaquero, Carmen Diaz-Sastre, Jeronimo Saiz-Ruiz, José Fernández-Piqueras, Jose De Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This pilot study tested the gender-specificity of the association between suicide attempts and a polymorphism in the promoter area of the serotonin transporter with two allelic variants, a long (1) variant and a short (s) variant. In a Spanish general hospital, 180 suicide attempters (121 women and 59 men) and 212 control blood donors (93 women and 119 men) were recruited. Subjects were classified as S individuals (s/s or s/l) with low expression of the serotonin transporter, and L individuals (l/l) with high expression. S individuals were significantly overrepresented (or L, underrepresented) in female attempters when compared with female controls and male attempters. Lethality appeared to have a significant influence on the effects of the genotype in suicide since S females were overrepresented among non-lethal female attempters. Further studies are needed to replicate that the serotonin genotype polymorphism may influence suicide attempts only in females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-695
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was partly supported by a 1999 National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award to Enrique Baca-Garcı́a. The authors thank Margaret T. Susce, R.N., M.L.T. for editorial assistance.


  • Association
  • Genetics
  • Serotonin
  • Serotonin transporter
  • Suicide
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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