American Statistical Association
New York City
Metropolitan Area Chapter

New York State Psychiatric Institute
and Columbia University
Seminar for Biostatistics in Psychiatry



Andrew C. Leon, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry
Weill Cornell Medical College


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued separate warnings for suicidality with antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs in the past five years. This study describes methods for examining the association of these agents with suicide attempts and suicide deaths in more broadly generalizable samples than examined by the FDA. An observational study of mood disorders was examined that includes three decades of prospective assessments. Due to sample size differences, two distinct longitudinal implementations of the propensity adjustment are used in separate analyses of antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs. Propensity score quintile-stratified safety analyses were used with the large antidepressant data set; whereas, propensity score matched safety analyses were used with the smaller antiepileptic drug data because stratification was not feasible. In each case, mixed-effects survival models compared safety of participants when receiving the respective class of medication to periods when they did not receive that medication. When participants were more severely ill, they were significantly more likely to receive either class of psychotropics. Propensity quintile-stratified safety analyses found that risk of suicide attempts or suicides was significantly reduced when participants received antidepressants. In contrast, propensity score matched safety analyses found neither significant risk nor protection from suicidality among participants receiving antiepileptics.

Biographical Note

Andrew C. Leon, Ph.D. is Professor of Biostatistics in Psychiatry and Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is the Director of the Methods Core for the Weill Cornell Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research in Late Life Depression. His NIH-funded grant, "Dynamic Techniques for Treatment Effectiveness Analyses" (R01 MH0640447), was initially awarded in 2001. He also collaborates in clinical trials and epidemiologic studies. Current projects include: 1) A mixed-effect propensity adjustment for evaluating treatment effectiveness in longitudinal, observational studies, 2) Reducing attrition bias in randomized controlled clinical trials, and 3) Multiplicity Adjustment Strategies for Correlated Binary Endpoints.

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Time: 3:30 - 4:30 P.M.
Location: New York State Psychiatric Institute
1051 Riverside Drive
6th Floor Multipurpose Room (6602)
New York, New York


Coffee: 3:00 to 3:30 P.M.
Informal Reception: 4:30 to 5:00 P.M.

Home Page | Chapter News | Chapter Officers | Chapter Events
Other Metro Area Events | ASA National Home Page | Links To Other Websites
NYC ASA Chapter Constitution | NYC ASA Chapter By-Laws

Page last modified on January 22, 2012

Copyright © 1998-2012 by New York City Metropolitan Area Chapter of the ASA
Designed and maintained by Cynthia Scherer
Send questions or comments to