Suicidal Behavior and the Serotonin Transporter Gene Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) with Novel Subtypes, in Danish Schizophrenic Patients

August G. Wang, Henrik Berg Rasmussen, Holger Jelling Sørensen, Marianne Hvid, Claus Henrik Breddam, Bjarne Hansen, Vibeke Høg Bille, Ole Garsdal, Anne Jacoby, Karen Søbye, Henrik Dam, Lasse Krogsbøl, Sally Timm, Thomas Werge

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Background: Literature reports a genetic component for suicidal behavior, especially of determinant/violent type. One of the candidates has been the polymorphism 5-HTTLPR in the serotonin promoter. Employing a between group design, we wished to test the association between suicidal behavior and serotonin-related polymorphisms.

Method: 350 Danish patients with average 14 years’ duration of illness and with well researched history of suicidal behavior participated. Three groups were identified: 1. without suicidal behavior, 2. with suicidal behavior of nondeterminant/ non-violent methods, and 3. suicidal behavior with determinant/violent methods. We used the common alleles S and L as well as the new aspect with allelic subtypes SA, SG, LA.LG to constitute 3 functional genotypes: SS, SL and LL. We also included duration of illness, age at onset and sex in our study as potential covariates.

Results: We tested suicidal behavior types 2 and 3 versus type 1 for distribution differences as well as for possible trend. We did not find any statistical significant relations.

Conclusions: We could not find support for a relevant relation between the polymorphisms in the serotonin promoter and suicidal behavior in our schizophrenic patient sample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalThe Open Psychiatry Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • suicidal behavior
  • genetics
  • schizophrenia
  • sertonin transporter


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