Health Sciences Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Science

Copyright Statement

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College of Health Care Sciences – Health Science Department

First Advisor

Patricia Kelly

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University. College of Health Care Sciences.


Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation exists between suicide and CAG repeat length in Huntington’s disease. Methodology: A case-control study using the COHORT Study de-identified database was conducted. Responses were collected from 163 participants. Depression, substance abuse history and use of benzodiazepines were covariates. Responses to the UHDRS behavioral section pertaining to the frequency and severity of suicidal ideation (“feels life is not worth living”, “has suicidal thoughts”) were analyzed. Results: Despite taking depression, benzodiazepine use, and history of substance abuse into account, there was a predictive relationship between CAG repeat length and frequency of suicidal ideation (p = .010). When the effect of depression was taken into account, there was no significant relationship between CAG repeat length and the severity of suicidal ideation. Recommendations: The findings from this quantitative analysis supported using CAG length in a clinician’s risk factor assessment to determine the frequency of suicidality.


Medicine and Health Sciences


Health and environmental sciences, CAG repeat length, Huntington's disease, Suicidal ideation, Suicidality, Suicide

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