Malpractice News

May 4, 2013

Suicide rates on the rise in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have risen sharply in the U.S. since 1999, particularly for in the age demographic known as the baby boomer generation. In fact, the CDC morbidity rates revealed that today, “more people now die of suicide than in car accidents . . . In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.”

Baby boomers see greatest suicide rate rise

Experts aren’t quite sure of the reason behind the jump in suicide rates for middle-aged Americans. They suspect it has something to do with increased economic and financial worries and the ease of access to prescription painkillers. In the 11 year span between 1999 and 2010, the CDC found “the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7.” Men are far more likely than women to take their own lives, with 27.3 male deaths per 100,000 occurring because of suicide compared to just 8.1 female deaths per 100,000.

Suicide deaths are underreported

More discouraging still is the fact that these numbers are likely lower than the real rates. Julie Phillips, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University, said, “[Suicde] is vastly underreported. We know we’re not counting all suicides.”

Rates unlikely to change in near future

Unfortunately, these numbers aren’t expected to abate in the future. Dr. Phillips cited “changes in marriage, social isolation, and family roles” as possible reasons for why people will continue to face the high levels of stress that often contribute to the decision to commit suicide.


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