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Nightmares as predictors of suicide: an extension study including war veterans
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland / Genomics and Biomarkers Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Turku Brain and Mind Center, Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. (Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience / Consciousness Research Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5133-8664
Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Turku, Finland.
Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
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2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, 44756Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nightmares are intensive dreams with negative emotional tone. Frequent nightmares can pose a serious clinical problem and in 2001, Tanskanen et al. found that nightmares increase the risk of suicide. However, the dataset used by these authors included war veterans in whom nightmare frequency -and possibly also suicide risk -is elevated. Therefore, re-examination of the association between nightmares and suicide in these data is warranted. We investigated the relationship between nightmares and suicide both in the general population and war veterans in Finnish National FINRISK Study from the years 1972 to 2012, a dataset overlapping with the one used in the study by Tanskanen et al. Our data comprise 71,068 participants of whom 3139 are war veterans. Participants were followed from their survey participation until the end of 2014 or death. Suicides (N = 398) were identified from the National Causes of Death Register. Frequent nightmares increase the risk of suicide: The result of Tanskanen et al. holds even when war experiences are controlled for. Actually nightmares are not significantly associated with suicides among war veterans. These results support the role of nightmares as an independent risk factor for suicide instead of just being proxy for history of traumatic experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2017. Vol. 7, 44756
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Consciousness and Cognitive Neuroscience
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-13500DOI: 10.1038/srep44756ISI: 000396661200001PubMedID: 28294195ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85015327193OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-13500DiVA: diva2:1089137
Available from: 2017-04-18 Created: 2017-04-18 Last updated: 2017-05-19

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CiteExportLink to record
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