A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls National Center for Injury Prevention and Control shows the most common age for suicides has moved to the 45-to-54 age group from the 80-and-older age group.
Data on 15,882 incidents involving 16,319 violent deaths in 16 states in 2007 was summarized. The majority of deaths were suicides (56.6%), followed by homicides and deaths involving legal intervention (28%), deaths of undetermined intent (14.7%) and unintentional firearm deaths (0.7%).
Suicide rates were higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic whites. Problems related to mental health, jobs, finances or relationships might have contributed to the high rates of suicide in the 45-to-54 age group, the report reasoned. Mental health or substance-abuse problems, relationship problems and losses, and recent crises were frequent precipitants for suicide.
Suicides among former or current military personnel occurred primarily among males, non-Hispanic whites and persons older than 45 years of age, and were largely precipitated by physical or mental health problems, intimate partner problems, or a crisis in the previous two weeks. Specifically, a physical health problem was listed more frequently as a life stressor for suicides of former or current military personnel as compared to the civilian population (37% versus 21%).
Homicide rates were more than three times higher among males than females. Non-Hispanic blacks accounted for the majority of homicide deaths and had the highest rate of homicide of any racial/ethnic group.