Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Incidence of Suicidal Ideation in a Civil Servants Cohort During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil: Insights from the ELSA-Brasil Study

Pedro Bacchi, Paulo Suen, Daniel Fatori, Lais B. Razza, Leonardo Afonso, Izio Klein, Beatriz Cavendish, Marina L. Moreno, Itamar S. Santos, Isabela Benseñor, Paulo Lotufo, André R. Brunoni

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This study investigated the incidence of suicidal ideation and its associated risk factors in the São Paulo state of ELSA-Brasil cohort during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During a pre-pandemic ELSA-Brasil onsite assessment in 2016–2018 (wave 3) and a pandemic online assessment in May–July 2020 (wave COVID), we assessed suicidal ideation using the Clinical Interview Scheduled-Revised (CIS-R). Single and multi predictor logistic regressions were performed using sociodemographic characteristics, household finance impact during pandemic, presence of previous chronic diseases, alcohol abuse, adverse childhood experiences (ACE), living alone, and previous CMD as predictors. Suicidal ideation incidence was used as outcome. 

Out of 4191 participants of wave 3, 2117 (50.5%) answered wave COVID. There was a threefold increase in suicide ideation, from 34 (1.8%) to 104 (5.6%).In multiple predictor models, we found that previous CMD (OR 7.17; 95% CI 4.43 - 11.58) and ACE (OR 1.72; 95% CI 1.09 - 2.72) increased the odds of incident suicidal ideation. The sociodemographic predictors female sex, younger age and low income were significant risk factors only in the single predictor model.

These findings underscore the importance of monitoring and supporting individuals who suffered ACE and have a history of mental health disorders. This is especially critical in times of heightened societal stress, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


Suicidal ideation, suicide, covid-19, pandemic, Brazil

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