U.S. Suicides Increased 16 Percent From 2000 to 2010

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(HealthDay News) – From 2000–2010, the overall U.S. suicide rate increased, mainly due to increases in suicide by hanging/suffocation and poisoning, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Susan Baker, MPH, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the changes in suicide rates by poisoning, firearm, and hanging/suffocation using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System from 2000–2010.

The researchers found that the overall suicide rate increased 16 percent during the study period, from 10.4–12.1 per 100,000 population. The increase was largely attributable to rises in the number of suicide by hanging/suffocation (52%) and by poisoning (19%). In all age groups, except those aged ≥70 years, there was a steady increase in suicide by hanging/suffocation, with the largest increase (104%) among those aged 45–59 years. The largest increase in suicide by poisoning was 85% and occurred among those aged 60–69 years. There was a 24% decrease in suicide by firearm among those aged 15–24 years, while there was a 22% increase among those aged 45–59 years. During 2000–2010, the case fatality rates for suicide by hanging/suffocation ranged from 69%–84%, and were similar to those for suicide by firearm.

"The recent increases in suicide by hanging/suffocation and poisoning call for innovations and changes in suicide prevention approaches," the authors write. "High-quality research should be supported to develop interventions to curb the rise in suicide by hanging."

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