A study released on Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics was conducted to report rates of suicide in the United States from 1999 to 2014. The study found that the rate during this period was highest in the past 30 years. The highest rate of suicide has been recorded among middle-aged women. The rate was also on the higher side for middle-aged men compared to men of any other age group.
The study indicated that suicides rates have risen significantly and there were 13 in every 100,000 people to commit suicide. The rate is highest since 1986. The death toll due to suicide has been increasing by 2% a year since 2006; this was also double the annual rise in the years of study prior to 2006. The toll in 1999 was 29,199 as compared to 42,773 in 2014.
The rate among middle-aged women, 45 to 64 years, rose 63% over the period of the study. On the other hand, their male counterparts experienced a rise in suicide cases by 43%. The overall increase in the suicide rate from 1999 to 2014 was 24%.
Among the racial and ethnic groups, American Indians experienced the highest rise with 89% for women and 38% for men. White middle-aged women also committed suicide more by 80%. There was also an increase in suicide numbers witnessed in girls 10 to 14 of age. The suicide cases among these girls were very low, but have tripled over the study period.
“It’s really stunning to see such a large increase in suicide rates affecting virtually every age group”, said Katherine Hempstead, senior adviser for health care at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
According to a report in NY Times by SABRINA TAVERNISE, “The increases were so widespread that they lifted the nation’s suicide rate to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986. The rate rose by 2 percent a year starting in 2006, double the annual rise in the earlier period of the study. In all, 42,773 people died from suicide in 2014, compared with 29,199 in 1999.”
“It’s really stunning to see such a large increase in suicide rates affecting virtually every age group,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior adviser for health care at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who has identified a link between suicides in middle age and rising rates of distress about jobs and personal finances.
“The report is unique in that it breaks down suicide by different age groups and gender, and shows that the increase in suicide is among all groups, said Sally Curtin, one of the authors of the report. The increase in suicide rate has been steady since 1999, before which there was a consistent decline since 1986, she said,” according to a news report published by USA TODAY.
“It’s a very important report, and the results are very striking,” said Jeffrey Borenstein, President, and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. “The rate has increased so much since 1999, especially during the second half of that period.”
A report published in NPR said, “She says it’s heartbreaking to work with these data. While other causes of death are on the decline, suicide just keeps climbing — and it’s doing so for every age group under 75.”
“I’ve been losing sleep over this, quite honestly,” says Curtin. “You can’t just say it’s confined to one age group or another for males and females. Truly at all ages people are at risk for this, and our youngest have some of the highest percent increases.”