HealthDay News — From 2004-2005 to 2012-2013 there was an overall increase in suicide attempts among U.S. adults, according to a study published online September 13 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues used data from the 2004 to 2005 wave 2 national Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) and the 2012 to 2013 NESARC-III to assess trends in suicide attempts in the United States. A total of 69,341 adults, aged 21 years and older were surveyed. 

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The researchers observed an increase in the weighted percentage of U.S. adults making a recent suicide attempt from 0.62% in 2004 to 2005 to 0.79% in 2012 to 2013 (risk difference adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity [ARD], 0.17%). Adults aged 21 to 34 years had a significantly larger ARD for suicide attempts than adults aged 65 years and older (0.48 versus 0.06%). Compared with college graduates, adults with no more than a high school education had a significantly larger ARD for suicide attempts (0.49 versus 0.03%). Significantly larger ARDs were also seen for adults with antisocial personality disorder, a history of violent behavior, or a history of anxiety or depressive disorders.

“The pattern of suicide attempts supports a clinical and public health focus on younger, socioeconomically disadvantaged adults,” the authors write.

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