WEDNESDAY, May 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Most of the world saw a trend of decreasing suicide by firearm between 1990 and 2019, according to a study published online May 25 in PLOS ONE.

Irena Ilic, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Belgrade in Serbia, and colleagues assessed the global, regional, and national trends in mortality of suicide by firearm from 1990 to 2019.

The researchers found that 52,694 (45,110 male and 7,584 female) deaths of suicide by firearm were reported worldwide in 2019. The global age-standardized rates of suicide by firearm was six times higher in males versus females (1.15 per 100,000 and 0.19 per 100,000, respectively), but varied greatly across countries, with the highest rates in Greenland (24.52 per 100,000 and 2.69 per 100,000, respectively) and the United States (10.13 per 100,000 and 1.66 per 100,000, respectively). The lowest rates (0.05 per 100,000 or less) were observed in China, Japan, and Singapore. From 1990 to 2019, globally, the mortality of suicide by firearm had a decreasing tendency in both sexes together (average annual percent change, −2.0 percent per year).

“There are large international differences in the mortality patterns of suicide by firearm,” the authors write. “Despite the decreasing trends in mortality of suicide by firearm in most of the areas, observed in both sexes and in all age groups, in 31 countries increasing trends in mortality of suicide by firearm were reported.”

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