TUESDAY, May 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For childhood suicide, there is a significant age-related racial disparity, according to a research letter published online May 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Jeffrey A. Bridge, Ph.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues compared age-specific suicide rates for black and white youth from 2011 through 2015. Data for which suicide was listed as the underlying cause of death among youth aged 5 to 17 years were obtained from the web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers identified 1,661 and 13,341 suicide deaths among black and white youths, respectively, from 2001 through 2015. The suicide rate was about 42 percent lower among black youth than white youth during this period (1.26 versus 2.16 per 100,000). This racial difference was strongly moderated by age; among those aged 5 to 12 years, black children had significantly higher incidence of suicide than white children (incidence rate ratio, 1.82), whereas the rate was significantly lower among black youth age 13 to 17 years versus white youth in that age range (incidence rate ratio, 0.51). The observed age-related racial differences did not seem to change from 2001 through 2007 and from 2008 through 2015. “Our findings provide further evidence of a significant age-related racial disparity in childhood suicide and rebut the long-held perception that suicide rates are uniformly higher among white than black individuals in the United States,” the authors write.

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