To determine the prevalence of the risk of suicide among adolescents and to investigate associations between the risk of suicide and depressive symptoms.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with 1,379 students aged 10–17 years enrolled in state-run public schools in northeastern Brazil in 2014. The following instruments were used to collect data: a socio-bio-demographic questionnaire; the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) and the International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I. Brazilian version 5.0.0). Unidimensional and bidimensional tables were constructed for the data analysis, with absolute and relative frequencies. Odds ratios (OR) and respective intervals (95% confidence) were calculated and associated with the descriptive levels of Pearson's chi-square independence test.
The prevalence of the risk of suicide was 29.7% in the population studied. Females aged between 14 and 17, those with siblings and those with depressive symptoms were at the greatest risk.
The present findings revealed a very high risk of suicide and confirmed the significant that depressive symptoms are significantly associated with the risk of suicide among adolescents. Thus, it is necessary to develop suicide prevention programs for schools, with interdisciplinary primary healthcare actions.