Litter box suicide link?

Published: Jul. 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM CDT
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Danish researchers look at connection to parasite
Danish researchers look at connection to parasite

Denmark- Cleaning dirty litter boxes could have a connection to a woman's suicide risk.

A new study, published in the journal "Archives of General Psychiatry" says women infected with a parasite found in cat feces, undercooked meat and unwashed vegetables may be at higher risk for suicide and self-injury.

Danish researchers report that women infected with Toxoplama gondii were one and a half times more likely to attempt suicide than women who were not infected.

The researchers studied 45,000 women infected with T. gondii over a three year period.

However, don't stop cleaning the cat box just yet.

The study's senior author says about a third of the world's population is infected with the parasite and clearly most of them don't try to kill themselves.

An earlier study by the researchers suggests T. gondii infection increases the risk for schizophrenia.

You can find the full study here http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1206779