Suicidal ideation and planning among Mexican adolescents are associated with depression polygenic risk scores

Gabriela A. Martinez-Levy, Adrian I. Campos, Jill A. Rabinowitz, Luis M. García-Marín, Corina Benjet, Enrique Méndez, Miguel E. Rentería, Carlos S. Cruz-Fuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Suicide is a major public health problem in Mexico and around the world. Genetic predisposition for major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with increased risk for suicidal behaviors (SB) in populations of European ancestry (EA). Here, we examine whether MDD polygenic risk scores (MDD PRS), derived from a genome-wide association study involving EA individuals, predict SB, including ideation, planning, and attempt, among Mexican youth using a longitudinal design. At baseline, participants (N = 1,128, 12–17 years, 55% women) were interviewed and genotyped as part of a general population survey on adolescent mental health. Eight years later, they were recontacted for a follow up visit (N = 437, 20–25 years, 63% women). At both assessments, individuals reported on their engagement in SB within the past year. MDD PRS were significantly positively associated with SB, particularly suicide ideation and planning during adolescence, accounting for ~4–5% of the variance in these outcomes. In contrast, associations between MDD PRS and SB during young adulthood did not reach statistical significance. Our results suggest that increased genetic liability for depression increased risk for SB, particularly during adolescence, expanding our knowledge of the genetic underpinnings of SB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-484
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Mexican youth
  • depression
  • genetics
  • polygenic risk scores
  • suicidal behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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