[Paleopsych] BH: Smarts May Protect against Suicide

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Smarts May Protect against Suicide

Intellect linked to lower risk in young men

    Betterhumans Staff
    1/21/2005 11:30 AM

    Smarts may protect against suicide, suggests a study linking intellect
    to a lower risk of suicide in young men.

    Few studies have assessed the connection between intelligence and
    suicide, and results have conflicted.

    The new study, by researchers from the [8]Karolinska Institute in
    Stockholm and the [9]University of Bristol in the UK, shows a strong
    link and is based on a large sample size, making it unlikely to be due
    to chance.

    Logical connection

    For the study, the researchers analyzed results of four intelligence
    tests performed at conscription into military service for 987,308
    Swedish men.

    The men were monitored for up to 26 years and suicides recorded.

    Better performance on the intelligence tests was associated with a
    lower risk of suicide.

    The strongest associations were with logic test scores: Risk of
    suicide was three times higher for those with the lowest scores
    compared to those with the highest scores.

    Cause and effect?

    The findings suggest that people's ability to solve problems in times
    of crisis helps them avoid suicide.

    However, the findings don't prove a cause-and-effect relationship, as
    brain development during childhood can affect both intellect and
    susceptibility to mental illness and suicide.

    The research is reported in the [10]British Medical Journal ([11]read


    8. http://www.ki.se/
    9. http://www.bris.ac.uk/
   10. http://www.bmj.com/
   11. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/330/7484/167

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