Suicide and Family Loading for Affective Disorders

Janice A. Egeland, James N. Sussex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


All suicides were ascertained for a 100-year period (1880 to 1980) in a study of mental illness among the Old Order Amish. The majority (92%) of the 26 cases were diagnosed with a major affective disorder and were situated in multigenerational families with heavy loading for bipolar, unipolar, and other affective-spectrum illnesses. The suicides clustered in four primary pedigrees, and the role of inheritance was suggested by the way in which suicides followed the distribution of affective disorders in these kinship lines. We believe these extended pedigrees provide presumptive evidence of genetic factors in both suicides and affective disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-918
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 16 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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