CDC: Big Increase in Middle-Aged Suicides Seen 1999-2010

Suicide rate increased nationally, particularly among whites, American Indian/Alaska Natives

THURSDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999 to 2010, suicide rates among both middle-aged men and women increased substantially, according to research published in the May 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Erin M. Sullivan, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used the web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System to compile National Vital Statistics System data on suicides reported from 1999 to 2010 among U.S. residents over the age of 10. The U.S. standard 2000 population and bridged race population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau were used to calculate age group-specific annual suicide rates, as well as age-adjusted annual suicide rates.

The researchers found that the annual, age-adjusted suicide rate among persons aged 35 to 64 years increased 28.4 percent, from 13.7 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 17.6 per 100,000 population in 2010. Age-adjusted suicide rates for persons aged 10 to 34 years and for those 65 years and older were comparatively small and not statistically significant. The greatest increases were observed among populations of American Indian/Alaska Natives (65.2 percent, from 11.2 to 18.5 per 100,000 population) and whites (40.4 percent, from 15.9 to 22.3 per 100,000 population). The greatest increase by suicide mechanism was for use of suffocation (mostly hanging; 81.3 percent, from 2.3 to 4.1), followed by poisoning (24.4 percent, from 3.0 to 3.8) and firearms (14.4 percent, from 7.2 to 8.3). Suicide rates increased significantly across all regions in the United States.

"The findings underscore the need for suicide preventive measures directed toward middle-aged populations," the authors write.

Full Text

Physician's Briefing