Changes in suicide rates — United States, 2018–2019
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Changes in suicide rates — United States, 2018–2019

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States overall, and the second and fourth leading cause among persons aged 10-34 and 35-44 years, respectively (1). In just over 2 decades (1999-2019), approximately 800,000 deaths were attributed to suicide, with a 33% increase in the suicide rate over the period (1). In 2019, a total of 12 million adults reported serious thoughts of suicide during the past year, 3.5 million planned a suicide, and 1.4 million attempted suicide (2). Suicides and suicide attempts in 2019 led to a lifetime combined medical and work-loss cost (i.e., the costs that accrue from the time of the injury through the course of a person's expected lifetime) of approximately $70 billion ( From 2018 to 2019, the overall suicide rate declined for the first time in over a decade (1). To understand how the decline varied among different subpopulations by demographic and other characteristics, CDC analyzed changes in counts and age-adjusted suicide rates from 2018 to 2019 by demographic characteristics, county urbanicity, mechanism of injury, and state. Z-tests and 95% confidence intervals were used to assess statistical significance. Suicide rates declined by 2.1% overall, by 3.2% among females, and by 1.8% among males. Significant declines occurred, overall, in five states. Other significant declines were noted among subgroups defined by race/ethnicity, age, urbanicity, and suicide mechanism. These declines, although encouraging, were not uniform, and several states experienced significant rate increases. A comprehensive approach to prevention that uses data to drive decision-making, implements prevention strategies from CDC's Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices with the best available evidence, and targets the multiple risk factors associated with suicide, especially in populations disproportionately affected, is needed to build on initial progress from 2018 to 2019 (3).
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