Assessing Female Suicide From a Health Equity Viewpoint, U.S. 2004–2018
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Assessing Female Suicide From a Health Equity Viewpoint, U.S. 2004–2018

Filetype[PDF-964.52 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Am J Prev Med
    • Description:

      Geographic and urbanization differences in female suicide trends across the U.S. necessitates suicide prevention efforts on the basis of geographic variations. The purpose of this study was to assess female suicide rates by mechanism within Census divisions and by urbanicity to help inform geographically tailored approaches for suicide prevention strategies.


      Data from 2004 to 2018 were obtained from the National Vital Statistics System (analyzed in 2021). Annual counts of female suicides were tabulated for firearm, suffocation, and drug poisoning and stratified by the U.S. Census division and urbanicity. Age-adjusted rates were calculated to describe female suicide incidence by geographic areas and urbanicity. Data were analyzed annually and by 5-year timeframes. Trends in annual female suicide rates by mechanism for 3 urbanization levels were identified using Joinpoint Regression. Annual percent change estimates were calculated for age-adjusted female suicide rates between 2004 and 2018.


      Female suicide rates by mechanism were not homogeneous within Census divisions or by urbanization levels. Suicide rates by mechanism across Census divisions within the same urbanization level varied (range=3.38–11.15 [per 100,000 person per year]). From 2014 to 2018 in large metropolitan areas in the northern divisions, rates for suffocation were higher than for firearms and drug poisoning. During the same period, in all urbanization levels in southern divisions, rates for firearms were higher than for suffocation and drug poisoning.


      Female suicide mechanisms vary by urbanization level, and this variation differs by region. These results could inform female suicide prevention strategies on the basis of mechanism, urbanization, and geographic region.

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