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More Americans Now Die from Suicide than from Auto Accidents By Gwendolyn Sykes

Posted on Monday, 6th May 2013 @ 08:17 PM by Text Size A | A | A

Suicides rose sharply during the first decade of the new century, with more Americans now dying at their own hand than in auto accidents.

In 2010, 33,687 people died in motor vehicle crashes, while 38,364 committed suicide, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans age 35-64 increased by nearly 30%. Far more men than women killed themselves, with the male suicide rate recorded at 27.3 deaths per 100,000 people. The rate among women was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.

The largest increases occurred in the Baby Boom generation. For men in this cohort, the suicide rate jumped 50% among those in their 50s. Among women age 60-64, the rate soared even higher, by 60%.

“There may be something about that group [Baby Boomers], and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference,” CDC’s deputy director Ileana Arias told The New York Times.

Arias added that the rise in suicides may stem from the economic downturn over the past decade, which may have put additional pressures on the Baby Boomer generation, who are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.

It also was noted that easy access to prescription painkillers may have played a role as well. However, suicides by hanging saw the highest increase (81%), and most suicides are still committed using firearms.

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