To the Editor:—
I would like to clarify an allusion about a relationship between suicide and patients with schizophrenia given niacin therapy, which Dr. Hoffer made in his reply to Drs. Henninger and Bowers (207: 1355, 1969).Dr. Hoffer says that "none of 450 patients receiving niacin against 12 out of 450 receiving tranquilizers, electric convulsive therapy, etc, over a ten-year period [committed suicide]," and he again states that, "we, however, reported a large number of indices of improvement including freedom from suicide," and "in my opinion, niacin therapy is generally less harmful than psychotherapy if one can judge by suicide rate, the divorce rate, and home breakdown rate."My familiarity with the literature on suicide including that among schizophrenics leads me to state that there are no controlled studies showing that schizophrenics treated with niacin are less likely to commit suicide than those receiving other methods of treatment.