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Suicide rate among middle-aged adults rises in the U.S.

By Tim Sandle     May 7, 2013 in Health
Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen substantially since 1999, according to a report in by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC reports that in 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides. Of these suicides the biggest growth was amongst the middle aged (defined as people aged between 35 and 64 years-old). Examining data from 1999-2010, the CDC found that annual suicide rates for this age group increased 28% over this period (from 13.7 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 17.6 per 100,000 in 2010). The data was taken from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System.
The figures also indicate that the largest increases were for non-Hispanic whites and American Indians and /Alaska Natives. A further finding was that the most common ‘methods’ of suicide were from hanging/suffocation, poisoning, and firearms.
Other findings of interest are:
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.
The CDC closes its report by warning that most attention by authorities in relation to suicide is focused on the young and elderly, with the middle aged largely ignored. This new data suggests that a change to public policy might be needed. The CDC notes:
“Traditionally, suicide prevention efforts have been focused mostly on youths and older adults, but recent evidence suggests that there have been substantial increases in suicide rates among middle-aged adults in the United States.”
More about CDC, Middle age, Americans, Suicide
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