Dramatic 28pc rise in suicide rate among middle-aged Americans
Suicide rates are rising dramatically among middle-aged Americans, according to US government statistics, which showed a 28pc spike from a decade ago in the number of people taking their own lives.
The rise was most dramatic among those in their 50s, which saw a nearly 50pc jump in suicides.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the figures show more people taking their own lives than dying in car accidents, and attribute the increase to the sharp rise in suicides among adults aged aged 35 to 64.
The number of Americans in that age range who took their own lives grew from 13.7 per 100,000 people in 1999, to 17.6 per 100,000 in 2010 – an alarming 28pc increase, the agency said.
The rise was most dramatic among those in their 50s – the tail-end of the so-called Baby Boomer generation born after World War Two – who saw a nearly 50pc jump in suicides.
"Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common," said CDC director Tom Frieden.
"This report highlights the need to expand our knowledge of risk factors so we can build on prevention programmes."
In 2010, an average of nearly 18 out of every 100,000 people aged 35-64 died from suicide – four more than a decade earlier, the CDC said.
In 2010, motor-vehicle accidents killed 33,687 people, while 38,364 died from suicide that year, according to the CDC. (© Independent News Service)