Recent findings indicated middle-aged adults had the highest increases in suicide death rates from 1999 to 2014 compared with other age groups, according to results of a new report.
, PhD, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, wrote in the report that the HHS National Center for Health Statistics stated that suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2013.
“Recent research indicates that suicide is at a 30-year high,” she wrote. “In addition, other reports conclude that the suicide rate is rising sharply for males aged 45 to 64 (from 20.8 to 29.7 deaths per 100,000 between 1999 and 2014), and females aged 45 to 64 also had the second-largest percentage increase in suicide deaths (from 6 to 9.8 deaths per 100,000 between 1999 and 2014) compared with other age groups.”
Piscopo analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) Mortality file for adults aged 45 to 64 years.
Suicidal thoughts (3.5% vs. 6.9%) and attempts (0.3% vs. 1.2%) were significantly less common in middle-aged adults vs. young adults (aged 18 to 25 years), who had the highest rates of any age group.
The annual average rate of middle-aged adults with serious suicidal thoughts was 3.5% from 2009 to 2010, 3.3% from 2011 to 2012, and 3.6% from 2013 to 2014.
The annual average rate of middle-aged adults who attempted suicide was 0.3% in 2009 to 2010, 0.4% in 2011 to 2012, and 0.3% in 2013 to 2014.
NVSS data indicated that compared with other age groups, middle-aged adults had the highest increase in suicide death rates, from 13.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 19.5 per 100,0000 in 2014.
“Young adults aged 18 to 25 are at higher risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts than other age groups. However, adults aged 45 to 64 have higher rates of death from suicides than other age groups. Additionally, the suicide rate (ie, the death rate from suicide) has significantly increased over the years for those aged 45 to 64, higher than any other age group,” Piscopo wrote, adding that additional research is needed to examine why there is incongruity between risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts and death rates for suicide among middle-aged adults. – by Amanda Oldt
Piscopo KD. CBHSQ report: Suicidality and death by suicide among middle-aged adults in the United States. Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data. Accessed Sept. 26, 2017.
Disclosure: Piscopo reports no relevant financial disclosures.