Suicide spikes for U.S. middle-aged

Feb 19, 2008

A five-year study on suicide in the United States found a 20 percent increase in the suicide rate among 45-to-54-year-olds, out-pacing any other age group.

The suicide rates for middle-aged U.S. residents jumped 20 percent, while the suicide rates for teenagers increased only by 2 percent from 1999 to 2004, The New York Times said Tuesday.

Suicide rates for men in the middle-age group increased about 15 percent and for woman about 29 percent in the five-year period. There were more than U.S. suicides in 2004.

Experts say there is a "social-bias" as much of the suicide prevention efforts focus on youth prevention programs. Dr. Eric Caine, a leading suicide prevention official, said there is no "psychological autopsy" making the reasons behind the spike in suicide rates difficult to assess.

U.S. health officials, however, point to the rampant use and abuse of prescription and illegal drugs as the cause for at least a portion of the increased suicide rates.

Other health officials say the increased rate among middle-aged woman may be linked to the drop in the use of hormone replacement therapy in the post-menopausal years.

A study in 1989, however, seems to offer a more general explanation for the rise, saying the changing shape of the U.S. social structure, with family and friends increasingly on the move, disrupts the social support networks of those in the baby boom generation.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers investigate best living arrangements for abused or neglected children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Social media, self-esteem and suicide

Feb 10, 2014

In nations where corruption is rife it seems that citizens these days find an escape from the everyday problems that trickle down to their lives by using online social media more than those elsewhere. Research to be published ...

Psychology and the chance of bringing peace to Syria

Jan 27, 2014

How can we explain the level of savagery that has been seen in Syria? And how on earth do the negotiators in Geneva hope to bridge an abyss of cruelty and suffering that has seen more than 100,000 people killed ...

Recommended for you

Rising role seen for health education specialists

59 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

1 hour ago

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Vermont moves toward labeling of GMO foods

1 hour ago

Vermont lawmakers have passed the country's first state bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods as such, setting up a war between the behemoth U.S. food industry and an American public that overwhelmingly ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

a7i3n
4 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2008
Seems to me that the abuse of drugs would be one sign of trouble in that a depressed person might try to self-medicate to escape the effects of depression. That this activity contributes to a higher suicide rate is not surprising. Neither is the attempt by U.S. health officials to make it seem like less of a problem by trying to shift the blame to the sufferers.

With the poor state of U.S. health care and the effect of lower earnings due to a bad economy I can see how this would drive some over the edge. This is also the age where parents have passed away and friends start dying and the effects of isolation start to kick in. Middle age, for many in the U.S., is a very rough place to be.

More news stories

Rising role seen for health education specialists

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between ...

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...