A pilot study on a gene-hormone interaction in female suicide attempts

Enrique Baca-Garcia, Concepción Vaquero, Carmen Diaz-Sastre, Antonio Ceverino, Jeronimo Saiz-Ruiz, José Fernández-Piquera, Jose De Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This one-year naturalistic study included all suicide attempters in a catchment area. In the first published set of analyses, an association between menses and suicide attempts was replicated. According to the polymorphism of the serotonin transporter promoter area, the subjects can be classified as S individuals (s/s or s/l) or L individuals (l/l). In the second published set of analyses, L females appeared protected from suicide attempts since they were underrepresented among female (and not male) attempters. This new, unpublished third set of analyses tested for an interaction between the same polymorphism and low hormonal activity (during menses and menopause). In fertile female attempters, the proportion of L women in the menses (41%, 7/17) was significantly higher than expected in the population (15.5%) and almost significantly higher than in S female attempters (22%, 19/87). L females were also overrepresented in postmenopausal attempters. Despite sample size limitations, this gene-hormone interaction needs to be further investigated in female suicide attempters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
■ Acknowledgments The collection of samples at the Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain, for this study was supported by internal support and by Dr. Baca-Garcia’s 1998 National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD) Young Investigator Awards called “Suicidality, Menstrual Cycle and Serotonin Transporter Gene.” Dr. Baca-Garcia’s second NARSAD Young Investigator Award in 2001 helped to support the writing of this article.Margaret T. Susce, R. N., M. L. T. helped with editing of this article.


  • Estrogens
  • Genetics
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Menstruation
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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