Health

Study Reveals Suicide Rate Is At Its Highest Since World War II

According to the World Health Organization every year about one million people die by committing suicide. This means that on a global level, the suicide rate is 16 per 100,000. It is predicted that by 2020, instead of the rate being one suicide per 40 seconds, it will rise to one suicide per 20 seconds.

However, stats cannot be accurate due to underreporting on behalf of people. Several numbers are not counted because of the stigma that surrounds suicide. Now a new research has found that the current suicide rate is higher than it has ever been since it has started to be recorded.

As per a latest report from the Centers for Disease Control, the suicide rate has risen very high so much so that it is the highest since World War II. Federal health officials have also highlighted that these rates are particularly high among native women. Suicide rate has jumped by 33% between 1999 and 2017.

This bump up in the rate has been noticed among all genders, races, and ethnicities. However, the increase in other groups is not as high as it is in the case of native Americans and Alaska natives. Females belonging to these areas have a higher suicide rate even though in the past, trends have always showed that men have higher suicide rates and the same is the case still overall.

Among these native women a 139% rise has been noted with the rate going from 4.6 per 100,000 to 11 per 100,000. While among men, the rate is up by 71%. Among women, younger ones in the age bracket of 15 to 44 form the majority of suicides. In the 45 to 65 age range, the suicide rate is highest among white males and females.

According to the Indian Health Service, this disproportionate measure in suicides has been felt by Native Americans, particularly younger ones, for long now. The Center for Native American Youth says that factors such as “historical trauma, chronically underfunded federal programs, and broken promises on the part of the US government” can be blamed for suicide.

Other factors such as poverty, lower graduation rates, alcoholism, and sexual assaults are also the cause. This study has been published in the Journal of American Medical Assn. It added that in 2017 alone 5,016 males and 1,225 females who were in the age group of 15 to 34 took their lives.

The rate of suicide of the youth is the highest it has been since 1960, when such statistics were first collected. Since then, stat measuring techniques have changed with the current youth suicide rate being 14.6 per 100,000. In 1999, the rate was 10.5 per 100,000.

The lead author of this new study, Oren Miron from Harvard University said, “When you have that hopelessness all around you and when it afflicts the family, it can definitely be a factor.” He further added, “The increased risk for heroin or opioid users to commit suicide is really staggering.”