WEDNESDAY, June 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Deaths from suicide, particularly by firearms, are dramatically increasing among young people, according to a study published online May 31 in the Annals of Public Health and Research.

Vishnu Muppala, M.D., M.P.H., from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and colleagues explored trends in suicide by firearms in young Americans by race (White and Black) and age (5 to 24 years) from 1999 to 2018 using data from the Multiple Cause of Death Files.

The researchers found that from 2008 to 2018, mortality from suicide by firearms increased significantly. There were “alarming” increases in suicide by firearms among those aged 5 to 24 years. Suicides from firearms were more common in White versus Black people and among those aged 15 to 24 years versus those aged 5 to 14 years. Between 2008 and 2018, rates of suicide by firearms quadrupled in those aged 5 to 14 years and increased by 50 percent among those aged 15 to 24 years.

“We believe that combating the epidemic of mortality due to firearms without addressing firearms is analogous to combating the epidemic of lung cancer due to cigarettes without addressing cigarettes,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to several medical/health care organizations.

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