Suicide Rates for 13- and 14-Year-Olds Doubled From 2008 to 2018

Authors say this has temporal correlation with expansion of social media and firearms
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FRIDAY, May 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. youth ages 13 and 14 years, suicide rates more than doubled from 2008 to 2018, according to a study published online April 19 in the Annals of Pediatrics and Child Health.

Robert S. Levine, M.D., from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues used death certificate data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to explore trends in suicide by sex, race, level of urbanization, census region, month of the year, and day of the week among U.S. youths aged 13 to 14 years.

The researchers found that suicide rates more than doubled from 2008 to 2018 following significant declines from 1999 to 2007. Urban and rural areas experienced similar trends, but suicides were more common in boys in rural areas where firearms are more prevalent. Firearms were used for 46.7 percent of suicides in rural areas and 34.7 percent in metropolitan areas. Suicides were more common between September and May and on Monday and the rest of the weekdays.

"While further analytic studies are needed, there are certainly important clinical and public health implications based on our study findings," a coauthor said in a statement. "These descriptive data have temporal correlates with social media, school stress, and firearms, which require further research."

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