THURSDAY, June 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 1999 to 2016 there was a significant increase in suicide rates across 44 states, according to research published in the June 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, Deborah M. Stone, Sc.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed trends in suicide rates among persons aged ≥10 years, by state and sex, across six consecutive three-year periods from 1999 to 2016. Contributing circumstances among decedents with and without known mental health conditions were examined using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System.

The researchers identified significant increases in suicide rates in 44 states during 1999 to 2016, with increases >30 percent in 25 states. Among males and females, there were significant increases in the rates in 34 and 43 states, respectively. Overall, 54 percent of decedents in 27 states did not have a known mental health condition in 2015. Several circumstances were significantly more likely among those without versus those with known mental health conditions, including relationship problems/loss (45.1 versus 39.6 percent), life stressors (50.5 versus 47.2 percent), and recent/impending crises (32.9 versus 26.0 percent) among decedents with available information.

“Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans — and it’s a tragedy for families and communities across the country,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., said in a statement. “From individuals and communities to employers and health care professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide.”

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