10% of Women Who Suffer Constant Ringing in Their Ears Attempt Suicide, Study Suggests

Discussion in 'Research News' started by attheedgeofscience, May 5, 2019.

    1. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Mighty Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      An article by the Daily Mail has shed light on gender differences when it comes to those suffering from severe tinnitus. A Swedish survey – which is the basis for the article – found that women who suffer from severe tinnitus are at increased risk of attempting suicide (compared with men). The research follows an earlier large-scale study from 2016 that did a break-down of the Korean tinnitus patient population and also found that the severity was a factor that led to an increased risk of suicide attempts.

      For some reason, the article by the Daily Mail does not link to the Swedish research paper – but for those interested, the article can be found here.
       
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    2. FGG

      FGG Member

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      The fact that women are more likely to be dismissed by both the medical profession and their families probably greatly contributes to this difference.
       
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    3. Autumnly
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      10% of women with any type of tinnitus or with severe tinnitus (9.4)?

      Also, in the paper it says:
      • The number of suicide attempts was higher among participants with any tinnitus (multivariate OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.28) and among those with severe tinnitus (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.04-1.66) (Table 2). This association was not observed for those with a formal diagnosis of tinnitus (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.67-1.26).
      As you can see in table 2 that doesn't have to mean it's a statistically significant difference. Nonetheless, I feel like by focusing on only women having a statistically significant increase in suicide attempts, it takes away from the severity of the situation.
       
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    4. TheDanishGirl
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      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      FINALLY! FINALLY some evidence of how devastating this condition can be.

      Plus... 10% is actually a lot.
       
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    5. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

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      Thanks for this, good find. Studies like this can hopefully show the public and even GPs / ENTs that this condition can have a huge impact on some people

      Typical Daily Mail inaccurate headline though, the headline says 10% of women with tinnitus attempt suicide, whereas the study actually showed 10% with severe tinnitus attempt suicide, big difference.

      The study author says “'The take home message is that tinnitus is different in how it impacts men and women”... I wonder if they controlled for the fact that women are overwhelmingly more likely to survive a suicide attempt than men and are therefore are more likely to be there to answer the question, have you ever attempted suicide? Plus I think the take-home message is more like, this condition can have a huge impact on some people.
       
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    6. GregCA
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      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      To be honest, it's not the first piece of evidence. Here's another one: https://journals.lww.com/thehearing...l_Ideation_Among_Patients_with_Chronic.6.aspx

      Look the chart "Suicidal ideation across TRQ categories." - the numbers are mind blowing. Note that these numbers talk about ideation, which is different from "having attempted".
       
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    7. TheDanishGirl
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      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Suicidal ideation is very different from actually trying/going trough with it. I believe that suicidal ideation can be found at some point, among everybody with chronic tinnitus, and that's "normal".
       
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    8. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member

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      Out of the five categories of ailments that cause suicidal ideation, tinnitus was just behind chronic pain as the most severe (which isn't surprising given that tinnitus is a form of chronic pain).
      The only good news is that knowledge regarding the destructiveness of this condition has become publicized and generalized so that attention to its treatment will finally be paid.
       
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    9. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      That's what I say in the last sentence you quoted from me. We are in agreement.

      That's what the study I linked to determined. It's nowhere near 100% (i.e. "everybody"), but it's significant. Look at the chart I mentioned ("Suicidal ideation across TRQ categories.").
       
    10. TheDanishGirl
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      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      I just know that I have read many tinnitus newbie stories over the last 2 years, A LOT! And I don't think I can recall a single one, where suicidal ideation wasn't present in the story at some point.
       
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    11. annV
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      annV Member

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      Only those afflicted most find their way onto tinnitus support sites to begin with. It's no surprise they have had suicidal ideation!

      Suicidal ideation is a far cry from actually attempting suicide...
       
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    12. TheDanishGirl
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      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Yeah, but it is my personal conviction that most people have suicidal ideation, if they are hit with sudden intrusive chronic tinnitus. It only seems natural.
       
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    13. Jack Straw
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      Things wrong with this article:
      • Title is "10% of women who suffer constant ringing in their ears attempt suicide, study suggests". The second bullet after the title says that in the study there was 900 women with severe tinnitus and 10% reported attempted suicide. This author needs to go back to statistics class because the title is just flat out wrong. Based on studies 10% of people with tinnitus have severe tinnitus and based on this article 10% try to commit suicide. This would mean that 1% of people with tinnitus attempt to commit suicide. 100% of population with tinnitus * 10% with severe tinnitus * 10% attempted suicide = 1% of total population with tinnitus.
      • The title should have been, "1% of women who suffer constant ringing in their ears attempt suicide, study suggests", but this is not as sensational.
      • The first bullet says 15% of Americans. This is wrong and is closer to 20-30% based on current research.
      What is the point of this article being focused on one gender? Why not focus on the fact that people with severe tinnitus have an increased risk of suicide?
       
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    14. Tinnitus Talk
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      Tinnitus Talk Knowledge Base

       
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    15. Autumnly
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      I was a bit worried of reading the Facebook comments but was relieved to see that many others afflicted (unfortunately) understand how much tinnitus can affect someone. Thank you for posting this on different social media platforms!
       
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    16. RichL
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      This doesn't surprise me as I've read studies suggesting certain noises like a dripping tap or other higher pitched small noises irritate woman more than it does men.

      What would have been interesting is whether any of the study group had OCD, tinnitus in one ear or both, my wife who's also a tinnitus sufferer has mild OCD and she often laments that because of her mild OCD she doesn't think she could handle life with tinnitus in one ear only and I can fully understand that that would drive an OCD sufferer nuts.
       
    17. Bndsmheowqhe

      Bndsmheowqhe Member

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      I've found that as a male it's better not to talk about it. People are disgusted with men that show weakness over a perceived non-problem like tinnitus.
       
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    18. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

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      Studies have actually proven that women are more likely to have symptoms dismissed by the medical profession. I looked into this in some detail. I believe it is a huge issue.

      However there is more pressure on men in society to act like things don’t bother them and that must be difficult too. The study looks at suicide ideation for obvious reasons, but men in the general population are more likely to actually complete suicide and I wonder if that holds true for tinnitus patients too.
       
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    19. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Head over to the Introductions part of the forum. I just did. I picked the first 3 showing up: none of them talk about any suicidal ideation.

      The second thing to keep in mind is that this forum contains a biased sample of the tinnitus population that is having a harder time, so you are likely to see a biased (worse) picture on the forum than "in general".
       
    20. GlennS

      GlennS Member

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      Best not to talk about it in a romantic context. Luckily there's more to socialization than trying to maximize attraction from women. That being said, maybe more women will be understanding after tinnitus was highlighted so prominently in A Star is Born (which showed it as anything but a non-problem).

      In general, though, it makes no sense to mention it repeatedly once people know you have it. They'll never understand what it's like no matter how sympathetic they may be. They'll be reminded anytime you put in earplugs and they don't and that's enough. All they really care about is understanding why it is you're doing something "weird", acting moody, or opting out of this or that.
       
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    21. Bndsmheowqhe

      Bndsmheowqhe Member

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      Because this:

      aesQl4Kl.jpg
       
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    22. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

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      Pfffttt it’s more likely to be because it can be used as an excuse to psychologise yet another disease in women.
       
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    23. CederrothCr

      CederrothCr Member

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      Hello all, I'm Christopher, the corresponding author of the scientific publication. There are many questions raised that I am happy to discuss here.

      So you understand how the media reach occurred, this was something I did not control for. At the Karolinska Institute, we have a communication office that helps reaching out for all media when there has been a publication of in a journal of large impact factor (e.g. PNAS, Nature etc...). As JAMA Otol is below their cut-off, Karolinska wasn't involved and it's JAMA Otol that graciously wrote a text, that was released here:

      https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-05/jn-sta050119.php

      Usually, the ones that want to disseminate about it, simply reuse the text.

      However, here some made their own article:
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/...-attempt-suicide-study-suggests.html#comments
      https://consumer.healthday.com/gene...rive-some-to-the-brink-of-suicide-745871.html

      The second one is even more disappointing, since they even quote me saying "Cederroth added that he isn't aware of any completed suicides related to tinnitus." which is obviously not true...
      As I was aware that distortions often happen with reporters, I decided to avoid phone calls and instead sent a text which included that there were no studies showing an increased risk for completed suicide. Our research article even points at scientific reports mentioning about individual cases. In spite of my precautions, the journalist did not do a proper job in quoting my written statements (or even reading the open access article) - this is quite unfortunate and discredits the impact of tinnitus 0n mental health. I asked them to modify this, but I am unsure how doable this is.

      Nonetheless, I was happy our work was published because there is little knowledge on this. As you all saw in the thread, there are big differences between suicidal ideation, suicidal attempts, and completed suicide. Our sample size was too small to investigate the latter. One needs a whole nation data to be able to have meaningful results. But we managed at least to have a look at the two first ones. For the sake of clarity in the scientific reporting and the short amount of space in the format we had, we had to exclude the analysis on suicidal ideation and instead focus on attempts.

      We also investigated differences between men and women, because this hasn't been explored much in tinnitus studies (with maybe the exception of prevalence and few others) and is the purpose of a recent research grant we got. We found an overall increased risk, although mild. In comparison, 40% of those with major depressive disorder or schizophrenia attempt suicide. We found this association was significant in women, but not in men - it is also possible that men do not wish to report so, as most reported cases of completed suicides are men. Even if our sample size was big, we need more work to investigate these aspects as it seems that men and women are clearly affected in a different way.

      Let me know if there are other things I can clarify, happy to help.
       
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    24. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

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      Hey, nice of you to come in here. I've never been in a discussion of a scientific paper online where one of the authors turned up.
       
    25. Paulmanlike

      Paulmanlike Member Hall of Fame

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      I’m blessed with OCD and tinnitus.

      Given my own experience, I spent time in hospital with the idea of suicide. I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t go in.

      If anybody new to tinnitus reads this and feels the same, I would urge you to give it time before making any drastic decisions.

      If I could get better, so can you.
       
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    26. Sgt_Dubie

      Sgt_Dubie Member

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      I’ve lost all hope of anything getting better. Although I choose to stick around for this hell on earth, I can certainly understand why people would want to check out early. I can’t really blame them. I can’t even get my audiologists to acknowledge it’s an issue or offer any advice beyond ‘just ignore it’. Over the years, I’ve just come to realize that the only way I’ll ever hear silence again is by dying. But, knowing my luck, my hell would be spending eternity in a sensory deprivation chamber with nothing to hear except that damn ringing...
       
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    27. JohnAdams
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      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Because men are evil now and don't deserve sympathy. Especially white, heterosexual, cis gender, middle class, tax paying, two armed, horn honking, hair combed men.
       
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    28. JohnAdams
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      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      That means 3 out of 4 homeless people are men.
       
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    29. Clint Azzopardi
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      Clint Azzopardi Member

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      I personally think that we should think twice before posting anything related to suicide and tinnitus. Unfortunately I think when tinnitus hits us the scary thought of suicide passes through our minds. I wasn't an exception.

      What do you think will go through a person's mind who just got tinnitus and who comes here for some support and they read such a post that 10% of women with tinnitus attempt suicide. Wouldn't their suicidal thoughts be aggravated?

      I'm obviously not going into the gender issues here, I think they are secondary.

      Just my two pennies worth.
       
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    30. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

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      I've arranged for you to be reincarnated as a black woman with one arm. You can report back as to whether you find the world treats you better.

      I do think the issue of male suicide is not discussed enough.
      Sorry the Daily Mail misquoted you-it is notoriously the worst paper for accuracy in health coverage, though it's very powerful and well read and takes a great interest in publishing health articles. I had some indirect dealings with them on another health issue and they kept printing this same incorrect fact even after it was corrected to them. Yours is a good study overall. I do think sometimes the media, or even future research publications that cite such articles as yours, don't acknowledge uncertainties.
       
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