Suicide rate rises steeply in U.S.By Michael Cook
June 9, 2018 (bioedge.org)
Two American celebrities committed suicide during the week: Kate Spade, a 55-year-old fashion designer, and Anthony Bourdain, a 61-year-old chef and TV host. Their deaths underscored dire news from the Centers for Disease Control about a steep increase in suicides in the US over the past two decades.
Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016 – a 30% rise in half of states since 1999. Rates increased significantly among males in 34 states and females in 43 states. Men accounted for three-quarters of the deaths. The figures were highest among non-Hispanic whites and among those aged 45 to 65 years old.
Suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death for Americans. Suicide, Alzheimer’s disease and overdoses are the only causes of death which are increasing. Among people aged 15 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
CDC researchers did not single out one issue responsible for the rise. A number of factors are involved. Suicide is often attributed to mental health problems but many who die in this way did not have a diagnosed condition. However, “the reason most suicide decedents don’t have a known mental disorder is that they were never diagnosed, not that they didn’t have one,” said Dr David Brent, a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh, told the New York Times.
There are other factors as well: relationship setbacks, substance use, poor physical health, and job, money, legal, or housing stress.
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