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Low IQ Ups Mens’ Risk Of Suicide

June 5, 2010

A Swedish study found that men with low IQs are more likely to attempt suicide, and researchers on Friday described the findings as the first link between intellectual performance and suicide.

The study was based on an analysis of more than a million Swedish men whose intelligence quotients were measured during enlistment tests, at around the age of 18, and who were followed for an average of 24 years.

When adjusted for age, the researchers found men with the lowest IQs were nearly nine times as likely to be admitted for attempted suicide than men in the highest IQ groups.

“What we found is, we can say, the first association between intellectual performance and suicide,” Finn Rasmussen of Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute told AFP.

“That means that the higher the intelligence, the lower the risk of attempted suicide,” he said.

Rasmussen noted that the study did not focus on women, and that those who already had mental illnesses such as severe depression or schizophrenia were not counted.

But he pointed out that his team believed the results of the study, although it followed only Swedish men, “could be generalized internationally, at least to the westernized societies.”

Rasmussen said the results of the study, although not offering any short-term solutions for improving suicide prevention, might be useful to healthcare workers (doctors) “to keep in mind that the risk (of attempting suicide) is higher among people who have lower intelligence.”

The study was carried out in collaboration with British and Australian researchers, and was published in the British Medical Journal.

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