Adolescent Suicide Rates Increased Across All Methods in Recent Years

Differences in methods were seen by sex, age, and race and ethnicity
Adolescent Suicide Rates Increased Across All Methods in Recent Years
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide rates increased across all methods for U.S. adolescents from 1999 to 2020, according to a study published online March 29 in JAMA Network Open.

Cameron K. Ormiston, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined national trends in adolescent suicide mortality by method (firearm, poisoning, hanging and asphyxiation, and all other means) from 1999 to 2020 by demographic characteristics. The analysis included national death certificate data for adolescent suicide decedents (aged 10 to 19 years) compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The researchers found that among 47,217 adolescent suicide decedents, suicide by firearm (average annual percent change [AAPC], 1.0), poisoning (AAPC, 2.7), hanging and asphyxiation (AAPC, 2.4), and other means (AAPC, 2.9) increased during the study period. The highest average increase in hanging and asphyxiation suicides occurred among Black adolescents (AAPC, 4.2). Rapidly increasing rates of suicide were seen among female adolescents for poisoning (AAPC, 4.5) and hanging and asphyxiation (AAPC, 5.9). Additionally, from 2007 to 2020, firearm suicides sharply increased among female (annual percent change [APC], 7.8) and male (APC, 5.3) adolescents. Additional increases in firearm suicide rates occurred among Black adolescents from 2012 to 2020 (APC, 14.5), Asian and Pacific Islander adolescents from 2008 to 2020 (APC, 12.0), American Indian and Alaska Native adolescents from 2014 to 2020 (APC, 10.6), and Hispanic or Latino adolescents from 2011 to 2020 (APC, 10.2).

"Increasing suicide rates among racial and ethnic minoritized youth are especially concerning, and effective prevention strategies are urgently needed," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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