It’s a sobering and grim statistic. The number of middle-aged Americans committing suicide increased by a staggering 50 to 60 percent, and more African-American men commit suicide than African-American women, according to an in-depth analysis of a report released in May by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Washington.
The CDC conducted a study that monitored and analyzed suicide trends among adults in the U.S. between the ages of 35 and 64. The data was broken down by demographics, state of residence, ethnicity, sex and mechanism of injury between 1999 and 2010. The suicide rate for adults ages 50 to 64 rose 45 percent between 1999 and 2010, with higher increases for men in their 50’s and women 60 to 64.
Add to the mix that in 2010, the number of people who took their own lives surpassed the number of people who died in motor vehicle accidents. The issue of suicide in America has become a public health issue, perhaps even a burgeoning epidemic of sorts.
“Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common,” said Tom Frieden, CDC director and a physician. “The stories we hear of those impacted by suicide are very difficult. Many health care industry experts contend warning signs such as untreated depression, severe mood swings and unusual behavior are clues that someone may be considering suicide. Also, things like financial problems, job loss, poor health and caring for elderly parents and adult children are all issues that middle-aged Americans are contending with now [more] than ever before.”
Additionally, African-American men commit suicide three to four times more than African-American females. According to various statistics from current and historical information from the CDC, African-American women are the least likely to commit suicide among nearly all demographics.
“The findings in this report suggest it’s important for suicide prevention strategies to address the types of stressors that middle-aged Americans might be facing and can contribute to suicide risk,” said Linda Degutis, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
To view the complete reports by the CDC, visit http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide and http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr.