Saturday, May 4, 2013

Suicide rates for American adults increasing, says government report

Suicide rates for American adults increasing, says government report, The suicide rate in the past decade for adults between the ages of 35 and 64 showed a disturbing increase, eclipsing the number of those adults killed in auto accidents, according to a government agency report released Thursday.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of suicide among U.S. adults aged 35-to-64 increased 28 percent, from 13.7 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 17.6 per 100,000 in 2010. The most pronounced increases in suicide rates were among adults aged 50-to-59.

The CDC analysts claim that deaths classified as suicides are surpassing deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes in recent years in the United States. For example, in 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from automobile crashes while there were 38,364 suicides. Homicides that year numbered 16,259, according to the CDC.

"Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common," said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement. "The stories we hear of those who are impacted by suicide are very difficult. This report highlights the need to expand our knowledge of risk factors so we can build on prevention programs that prevent suicide."

According to the CDC report, gunshots and hanging/suffocation were the most common suicide mechanisms for middle-aged men. Poisoning and firearm were the most common mechanisms for middle-aged women.

"The findings in this report suggest it is important for suicide prevention strategies to address the types of stressors that middle-aged Americans might be facing and that can contribute to suicide risk," said Dr. Linda C. Degutis, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Most suicide research and prevention efforts have focused historically on youth and the elderly. This report’s findings suggest that efforts should also address the needs of middle-aged persons.

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