Suicide Among Military Personnel and Veterans Aged 18–35 Years by County—16 States
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Suicide Among Military Personnel and Veterans Aged 18–35 Years by County—16 States

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    • Alternative Title:
      Am J Prev Med
    • Description:
      Introduction Suicide among military personnel and young Veterans remains a health concern. This study examined stateside distribution of suicides by U.S. county to help focus prevention efforts. Methods Using 2005–2012 National Violent Death Reporting System data from 16 states (963 counties, or county-equivalent entities), this study mapped the county-level distribution of suicides among current military and Veteran decedents aged 18–35 years. This study also compared incident circumstances of death between decedents in high-density counties (i.e., counties with the highest proportion of deaths) versus those in medium/low-density counties to better understand the precipitators of suicide in counties most affected. Last, this study identified potential military and Veteran Health Administration intervention sites. All analyses were conducted in 2015. Results Within the National Violent Death Reporting System participating states, an estimated 262 (33%) current military suicides occurred in just ten (1.0%) counties, and 391 (33%) Veteran suicides occurred in 33 (3.4%) counties. Mental health and intimate partner problems were common precipitating circumstances, and some circumstances differed between cases in high-versus those in medium/low-density counties. Multiple potential intervention sites were identified in high-density counties. Conclusions These findings suggest that military and Veteran suicides are concentrated in a small number of counties. Increased efforts at these locales might be beneficial.
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