More people now die of suicide than in car accidents
In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released in May, there were 33,687 deaths from car accidents and 38,364 suicides in 2010.
Suicide, typically viewed as an issue with teens and the elderly, is increasing amongst middle-aged Americans, ages 35-64; many baby boomers are facing economic uncertainty that is then combined with easy access to prescription painkillers. Poisoning deaths were up 24 percent over the 10-year period from 1999 to 2010.
From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. While suicide rate is up amongst both middle-aged men and women, the suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.
“It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,” said the C.D.C.’s deputy director, Ileana Arias, in an interview with The New York Times. “There may be something about that group, and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference.” Dr. Arias noted that the higher suicide rates might be due to a series of life and financial circumstances unique to the baby boomer generation. They are often coping with caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.
The increase in suicides is unsettling as there is still a stigma around it.
You can read the CDC’s report here.
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Source: The New York Times