Attempted Suicide Rates, Risk Groups Mostly Unchanged

Attempted Suicide Rates, Risk Groups Mostly Unchanged

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The number of Americans who attempted suicide and ended up in the emergency department has remained steady in the past decade, according to research published online Nov. 17 in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

The authors of the new study focused on visits to the emergency department that were prompted by suicide attempts; in all the cases included in the study, the patients survived. In a large database, the investigators identified more than 3.5 million of these visits from 2006 through 2013 among people aged 10 and up.

Males were more likely to turn to firearms, hanging, and jumping, while females were more likely to attempt poisoning/overdoses (two-thirds of all attempts) and drowning, the investigators found. While females accounted for 57.4 percent of suicide-related visits and males accounted for 42.6 percent, the researchers said suicide attempts by males were more likely to result in death. Suicide attempts overall resulted in a 14.1 percent fatality rate for males and a 3.1 percent fatality rate for females. The investigators also found that 82.7 percent of the patients admitted for suicide attempts appeared to have mental disorders.

“What stood out to us the most is that while the rate of fatal suicide has increased, the overall rate of nonfatal suicide attempts has not changed much over the years, nor have the patterns — age, sex, seasonality, mechanism, etc. — changed much,” study coauthor Joseph Canner, M.H.S., interim co-director of the Johns Hopkins Surgery Center for Outcomes Research in Baltimore, said in a journal news release.

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