Skip to content

CDC finds #Suicide deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes among middle-aged adults 1999-2010

May 3, 2013
This week CDC announced that suicide deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes in recent years in the United States. Really – read that first sentence again.  My next thought is what the heck is going on and where is our safety net?!?!?

This week CDC announced that suicide deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes in recent years in the United States. Really?? Read that first sentence again and think about it. My next thought is what the heck is going on and where is our safety net?!?!?

In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides. The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) notes that suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen substantially since 1999.   Wow!

CDC investigated suicide trends among U.S. adults aged 35 to 64 by sex and other demographic characteristics, state of residence, and mechanism of injury from 1999 to 2010, using data available through CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Annual suicide rates for this age group increased 28 percent over this period (from 13.7 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 17.6 per 100,000 in 2010), with particularly high increases among non-Hispanic whites and American Indians and /Alaska Natives.

Increases in suicide rates among males and females were also observed from suicides involving hanging/suffocation, poisoning, and firearms. The suicide rates for those aged 10 to 34 and those aged 65 years and older did not change significantly during this  period, the report said. Suicide rates among those aged 35 to 64 increased in all states with statistically significant increases occurring in 39 states.

Key findings:

  • 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.
  • Suicide rates increased 81 percent for hanging/suffocation, compared to 14 percent for firearm and 24 percent for poisoning.
  • Firearm and hanging/suffocation were the most common suicide mechanisms for middle-aged men. Poisoning and firearm were the most common mechanisms for middle-aged women.

Most suicide research and prevention efforts have focused historically on youth and the elderly. This report’s findings suggest that efforts should also address the needs of middle-aged persons.

Suicide prevention strategies involve enhancing social support and community connectedness, improving access to mental health and preventive services, and reducing the stigma and barriers associated with seeking help. Other prevention strategies include programs to help those at increased risk of suicide, such as those struggling with financial challenges, job loss, intimate partner problems or violence, stress of caregiving for children and aging parents, substance abuse, and serious or chronic health problems.

The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr.

http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0502-suicide-rates.html

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: