U.S. Teen, Young Adult Suicide Rates Are on the Rise

Hanging and suffocation suicides among 10- to 14-year-old girls showed most dramatic increase

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Youth and young-adult suicides steadily declined for 13 years in the United States, then jumped by 8 percent in 2003-2004, particularly among teenage girls, according to a report in the Sept. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Keri M. Lubell, Ph.D., of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in Atlanta, and colleagues report that in 2004 there were 4,599 deaths due to suicide among 10- to 24-year-olds, making it the third-leading cause of death.

Overall, the combined suicide rate for this age group fell by 28.5 percent from 1990 to 2003, from 9.48 to 6.78 per 100,000 persons, and rose from 6.78 to 7.32 in 2004, the largest single-year rise in 15 years.

Outstanding increases were noted in suicide by hanging/suffocation and poisoning among 10- to 14-year-old and 15- to 19-year-old girls. "Closer examination of these trends is warranted at federal and state levels," the authors write.

"Where indicated, health authorities and program directors should consider focusing suicide-prevention activities on these groups to help prevent suicide rates from increasing further," they write.

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