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West Indian Medical Journal

versão impressa ISSN 0043-3144

West Indian med. j. vol.60 no.2 Mona mar. 2011




Proposal for suicide prevention in the United States based on the suicide rates by age group in recent years



K InoueI; T FukunagaII; Y OkazakiIII; Y OnoIII

IDepartment of Public Health, Fujita Health University, School of Medicine, Aichi 4701192, Japan
IITokyo Medical Examiner's Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 1120012, Japan
IIITokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital, Tokyo 1560057, Japan




The Editor,


There are reports (1, 2) concerning suicide from various fields in the United States of America (USA). It is necessary to discuss further suicide prevention measures based on detailed research regarding recent suicide rates by age group foreachsex. Inthepresentstudy,weresearchedsuiciderates by sex and age group in the USA in 2000 and 2005, as reported by the Journal of Health and Welfare Statistics (3) and we compared the suicide rates by age group in 2000 and 2005.

Among men and women, ages 25 to 64 (25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64) years, the suicide rates in 2005 showed an increase or tendency to increase compared with those in 2000, with the rates especially increasing for ages 45-54 and 55-64 years. Among women age 15-24 years, the suicide rates in 2005 also increased over those in 2000. Among men age 75 years or over, the suicide rate in 2005 showed a decrease as compared with that in 2000, but the rates for age 75 years or over were high in both years.

With regard to the cause of suicide, there have been reports (4, 5) on the relation between psychiatric disorders and suicide. Some reports (6, 7) have shown that some social, industrial, occupational and economic factors are related to suicide risk. One report (8) has suggested that natural disasters and the suicide rate are related in the USA.

In conclusion, it is necessary to implement further specific suicide prevention measures in the USA.



1. Chavira DA, Accurso EC, Garland AF, Hough R. Suicidal Behaviour Among Youth in Five Public Sectors of Care. Child Adolesc Ment Health 2010;15:44-51.

2. Joe S, Marcus SC, Kaplan MS. Racial differences in the characteristics of firearm suicide decedents in the United States. Am J Orthopsychiatry 2007;77:124-30.

3. Journal of Health and Welfare Statistics. Health and Welfare Statistics Association 2008 and 2009; 55(9) and 56(9): 58 and 60. [in Japanese] ;

4. Oquendo M, Brent DA, Birmaher B, Greenhill L, Kolko D, Stanley B, et al. Posttraumatic stress disorder comorbid with major depression: factors mediating the association with suicidal behavior. Am J Psychiatry 2005;162:560-6.

5. Gradus JL, Qin P, Lincoln AK, Miller M, Lawler E, Sørensen HT et al. Posttraumatic stress disorder and completed suicide. Am J Epidemiol 2010;171:721-7.

6. Kposowa AJ. Unemployment and suicide: a cohort analysis of social factors predicting suicide in the US National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Psychol Med 2001;31:127-38.

7. Kposowa AJ. Suicide mortality in the United States: differentials by industrial and occupational groups. Am J Ind Med 1999;36:645-52.

8. Yazawa K. [Sizensaigaigonojisatsuritsunitsuite]. [Sankatofujinka] 2004;71:354-5. [in Japanese]



Dr K Inoue
Department of Public Health, Fujita Health University, School of Medicine
198, Dengakugakubo, Kutsukakecho
Toyoake, Aichi 4701192, Japan
Fax: +81562933079