Depression, Anti Depressants, Antidepressant Medications

04 Jan

U.S. Suicide Rate Rise For White, Middle-Aged Men And Women

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Though the suicide rate dropped between 1986 and 1999, the number of suicides for white women age 40 to 64 rose 3.9 percent annually between 1999 and 2005 and the suicide rate for white, middle-aged men climbed 2,7 percent yearly during the same interval, meaning that the number of suicides among Americans still remains disturbingly high.

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that while suicide rates increased by 2 to 3% in white men and women, the rates remained the same in Asians and Native Americans and declined in blacks. Suicide rates among African-Americans declined by more than 1 percent yearly. Before 1999, white middle-aged men were at least likely to commit suicide. Between 1999 and 2005, the suicide rate among white middle-aged men jumped 33 percent, from 7,916 deaths in 1999 to 10,535 in 2005.

Susan Baker, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and her colleagues, who conducted the study, say that the reason for the increase is unknown. The study is a cause of concern, because it identifies white, middle-aged men as a high-risk group for suicide. This phenomenon usually appears during an economic crisis. The increase in unemployment and a decrease in housing affordability are two of the factors that may determine the increase in the suicide rate for men at working age.

As suicide is a multidimensional and complex problem, it cannot be attributed to a single source. The report signals a need for more effective prevention methods for people in their middle-years. Researchers call for more study to identify the causes of the suicide trend.

Other studies have shown that the actual suicide rate among teens is 4.49 deaths per 100,000; the rate is significantly higher than the predicted rate of suicides, 3.8 deaths per 100,000 young people. In 2004, suicide was the third leading cause of death among youngsters after car accidents and homicides. Except for 2004, when researchers observed an 18% increase, the suicide rate among U.S. adolescents had been falling constantly over the previous 10 years. The 2004 increase was regarded by specialists as an anomaly and was mainly caused by a governmental warning that required the drugs carry a ?black box? warning.? The black-box warning for antidepressants mentioned that the drugs could increase suicidal thoughts and behaviours among teens. Researchers speculated the warning led patients to stop taking the drugs.

In 2005, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death for people 10 to 64 years old.

Factors such as the influence of Internet social networks, antidepressant medication, alcohol and drug use, family and relationship problems or history of mental illness, the increase in the rate among U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, higher rates of untreated or undiagnosed depression can influence the risk of suicide or suicide attempt by middle-aged men.


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