ECT tied to reduced suicide in severe depression

A study of nearly 70,000 patients also finds the treatment is linked to lower all-cause mortality

Electroconvulsive therapy roughly halves the 12-month risk of suicide death in patients admitted to hospital with severe depression, a large cohort study shows.

The findings reinforce the importance of the intervention, Canadian researchers say, and confirm that it remains “a medically safe procedure with a minimal increased risk of serious medical events”.

The University of Ontario-led team analysed data from 67,000 adults (mean age 45) admitted to a psychiatric bed for more than three days, of whom