Suicides Rise Among Baby Boomers

Up 28% among 35- to 64-year olds
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2013 4:35 AM CDT
Updated May 3, 2013 5:12 AM CDT
Suicides Rise Among Baby Boomers
The suicide rate has soared up among middle-aged Americans, says a new report.   (Shutterstock)

Suicide rates jumped 28% among 35- to 64-year-old Americans between 1999 and 2010, a CDC report finds. The figure climbed from 13.7 per 100,000 people to 17.6 per 100,000. Among middle-aged men, there were 27.3 suicides per 100,000, compared to 8.1 among women, the New York Times notes. In 2010, some 38,000 people committed suicide, more than the 35,000 who died in car accidents, NPR reports—even as suicides are "vastly underreported," says an expert.

There are a number of possible reasons for the increase, according to the CDC. One is the economic downturn. Another is the ease with which baby boomers can obtain prescription painkillers, the Times notes. It's also possible that baby boomers are simply continuing a generational trend: They had a higher suicide rate as teenagers than did earlier generations of teens. The rate of suffocation—largely through hanging—climbed more than any other suicide method, the report found, though firearm use and poison were up, too. (More suicide stories.)

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