CDC: U.S. Suicide Rates Rising Dramatically

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Suicide rates in the United States have increased by nearly 30 percent since 1999, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states.

According to a study of trends in suicide rates among individuals ten years of age and older, between 1999-2016, suicide rates rose significantly in 44 states. An increase of greater than 30 percent in suicides was observed in 25 states.

The greatest increase in suicides was seen in “middle-aged adults,” between the ages of 45 and 64.

Significant jumps in female suicides were seen in 43 states and in male suicides, in 34 states.

In 2016 alone, there were almost 45,000 deaths from suicide.

“And, unfortunately, our data show that the problem is getting worse,” Anne Schuchat, MD, principal deputy director at CDC, said at a press briefing, reports Medscape.

Among those who committed suicide and who had known mental health conditions, 67.2% had a history of treatment for mental health or substance abuse conditions, and 54 percent were in treatment at the time of their suicide.

Among those who committed suicide who did not have a known psychiatric condition, 84 percent were men and 16 percent were women. About 45 percent were dealing with relationship problems or loss, about 51 percent experienced life stressors, and about 33 percent encountered recent crises.

“I think it’s possible that we have some underrecognition of mental health conditions in our data, both because conditions haven’t been formally diagnosed and because those left behind might not have been aware of the diagnosis,” Schuchat said.

The number one means to commit suicide was found to be firearms, followed by hanging, and then poisoning, including through opioids.

“Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans – and it’s a tragedy for families and communities across the country,” Schuchat said. “From individuals and communities to employers and healthcare professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide.”



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