Itch and Pain in Adolescents are Associated with Suicidal Ideation: A Population-based Cross-sectional Study
Jon Anders Halvorsen, Florence Dalgard, Magne Thoresen, Espen Bjertness, Lars Lien
The association between itch and suicidal ideation has not been explored previously in the general population. The aim of the present study is to analyse the association between itch and suicidal ideation in adolescents, and to compare the findings with an expected association between pain and suicidal ideation in the same sample. A total of 4,744 adolescents were invited to join the questionnaire-based study. The participation rate was 80%. The prevalence of suicidal ideation among those who reported no itch was 8.4% vs 21.1% among those who reported severe itch. Significant association between itch and suicidal ideation was found in a multivariate model (odds ratio 3.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1–4.2) and between pain and suicidal ideation (odds ratio 3.8, 95% CI 2.6–5.7). The findings were similar and statistically significant in girls and boys separately. Itch and pain are approximately equally strongly associated with suicidal ideation in a large general population of adolescents.