Suicide Rate Jumps for Americans Ages 10 Through 74

Rates up significantly for middle-aged adults, particularly women
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2016 10:30 AM CDT
Suicide Rate Jumps for Americans Ages 10 Through 74
US suicide rate is now at a 30-year high.   (Shutterstock)

As Canada grapples with a suicide crisis, it seems America may have one on its hands, too. Researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics on Friday released a report that puts the US suicide rate at 13 per 100,000 people—a 30-year high, per the New York Times. The overall suicide rate rose 24% from 1999 to 2014 after declining in the 15 years prior, with suicides among young girls ages 10 to 14 surging 240%, though such cases are still rare (94 in 2014). An increase was seen in every age group except those over 75. The rate for middle-aged women rose 63%—it jumped 80% for white women of this age—while the rate for middle-aged men spiked 43%. "If it were just one particular group, you could say 'that is where we need to focus," lead author Sally C. Curtin tells CNN.

"Exactly where the major influences are—we don't know all of the answers to that yet," a CDC employee adds, per the Wall Street Journal. Some possibilities: chronic medical problems, financial stress during the economic downturn, social isolation, a failure to get treatment for mental-health issues, and more "access to lethal means," including opiates. The suicide rate rose 89% and 38% for Native American women and men of all ages, respectively, but declined by 8% among black men of all ages. The rate also declined for older adults, though men over 75 still have the highest suicide rate overall with 38.8 per 100,000 in 2014. The method of death is also altered: Suicide via hanging and other forms of suffocation rose during the study period to about 26% of all suicides. Men remain most likely to commit suicide using a gun, and women using poison. (More suicide stories.)

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