HealthDay News — Among adolescents and young adults, suicide rates increased to a high point in 2017, according to a research letter published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Oren Miron, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined suicide rates in youth aged 15 to 24 years using data from a national data set for 2000 to 2017. The time points at which trends changed were calculated.
The researchers identified 6,241 suicides in individuals aged 15 to 24 years, including 5,016 in men and 1,225 in women. The rate of suicide was 11.8 per 100,000 at ages 15 to 19 years (17.9 and 5.4 in men and women, respectively). For adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, the suicide rate was 8 per 100,000 in 2000, did not change from 2000 to 2007, increased from 2007 to 2014 (annual percentage change [APC], 3.1 percent), and then increased further from 2014 to 2017 (APC, 10 percent). For youth aged 20 to 24 years, the suicide rate for men and women was 17 per 100,000 in 2017 (27.1 and 6.2 for men and women, respectively). In 2000, the rate was 12.5 per 100,000, and then increased from 2000 to 2013 (APC, 1.1 percent) and from 2013 to 2017 (APC, 5.6 percent).
“Future studies should examine possible contributing factors and attempt to develop prevention measures by understanding the causes for the decrease in suicides found in the late 1990s,” the authors write.