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Published On: Sat, May 4th, 2013

Suicide rates increase significantly among middle age adults: CDC

Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans, ages 35 to 64,  have markedly increased since 1999, according to a newly released Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Dispatch with logline 300x71CDC investigated suicide trends among U.S. adults aged 35 to 64 by sex and other demographic characteristics, state of residence, and mechanism of injury from 1999 to 2010, using data available through CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Annual suicide rates for this age group increased 28 percent over this period (from 13.7 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 17.6 per 100,000 in 2010), with particularly high increases among non-Hispanic whites and American Indians and /Alaska Natives.

Increases in suicide rates among males and females were also observed from suicides involving hanging/suffocation, poisoning, and firearms. The suicide rates for those aged 10 to 34 and those aged 65 years and older did not change significantly during this  period, the report said.

“Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “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.”

Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • Suicide rates among those 35 to 64 years old increased 28 percent (32 percent for women, 27 percent for men).
  • The greatest increases in suicide rates were among people aged 50 to 54 years (48 percent) and 55 to 59 years (49 percent).
  • Among racial/ethnic groups, the greatest increases in suicide rates were among white non-Hispanics (40 percent) and American Indian and Alaska Natives (65 percent).
  • Suicide rates increased 23 percent or more across all four major regions of the United States.
  • Suicide rates increased 81 percent for hanging/suffocation, compared to 14 percent for firearm and 24 percent for poisoning.
  • Firearm 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.

Researchers say possible contributing factors for the rise in suicide rates among middle-aged adults include the recent economic downturn (historically, suicide rates tend to correlate with business cycles, with higher rates observed during times of economic hardship) ; a cohort effect, based on evidence that the “baby boomer” generation had unusually high suicide rates during their adolescent years ; and a rise in intentional overdoses associated with the increase in availability of prescription opioids .

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    Global Dispatch IS SENDING ME A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE.

    WELL, PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE SO STRESSED-OUT IF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAD CONTINUED ITS TRADITION OF CAUCASIAN-MALE PRESIDENTS – ONLY!

    AS I HAVE TYPED BEFORE, WHEN I DIE I WANT TO BE TOTALLY NUDE; IF I DECIDE TO TAKE MATTERS IN MY OWN HANDS, A FIREARM WILL DEFINITELY BE INVOLVED TO ENSURE MY NUDE BODY PROVIDES AN ACCURATE PORTRAIT OF HOW I LIVED.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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