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Asthma, Diabetes Linked To Self-Harm, Suicide

Update Date: Feb 13, 2014 03:51 PM EST

Physical illnesses like asthma, diabetes and epilepsy can increase the risk of self-harm and suicide, according to a new study.

After analyzing the risk of hospital admission for self-harm, researchers found a significantly higher risk of self-harm in patients with certain physical illnesses.

While it is known that people with mental illnesses are more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors, the latest study reveals that those with common physical illnesses like diabetes, epilepsy and asthma are also more likely to intentionally hurt themselves.

Researchers found that other physical illnesses that can increase the risk of self-harm include migraine, psoriasis, eczema and inflammatory polyarthropathies. The findings also linked diseases like epilepsy, asthma, eczema and cancers to a moderately increased risk of suicide.

"It is important for physicians, general practitioners and mental health workers to be aware of the physical disorders that are associated with an increased risk of self-harm so that at-risk individuals may be better identified and can be monitored for any psychiatric symptoms and mental distress," researchers wrote in the study.

The findings are published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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