Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

New Suicide Data Highlight Toxicity of Depression: One-Third of Victims Had Current Diagnosis

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

New Suicide Data Highlight Toxicity of Depression: One-Third of Victims Had Current Diagnosis

Article excerpt

BROOMFIELD, COLO. -- Forty percent of completed suicides had been diagnosed with a current mental health problem at the time of their deaths, according to the first wave of data from the new National Violent Death Reporting System.

Most of those psychiatric diagnoses involved depression, which had been diagnosed in more than 31% of the total population of completed suicides. Bipolar disorder, a distant second, was the current diagnosis in 2.8%, Malinda Steenkamp said at the annual conference of the American Association of Suicidology.

Nearly 14% of completed suicides had a history of an alcohol problem, while 12% had another substance abuse problem, added Ms. Steenkamp of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

She provided the first-ever airing of data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, which gathers information from death certificates, police reports, coroner and medical examiner records, and other sources. The project's goal is to develop an ongoing, comprehensive, and reliable data set to enhance understanding of how to prevent suicide. Her presentation included data for 2003 from the seven states then participating in the reporting system. Today 17 states participate, and more are set to come on board as congressional funding increases.

There were 7,710 violent deaths in the seven states in 2003. Suicide accounted for 46.7% of them, with homicide making up 26.3%. Another 25.5% were deemed to be of undetermined intent; however, many of these were homicides working their way through the judicial system.

The overall suicide rate in the seven states was 9.8 cases/100,000 population per year. The rates varied from a low of 7.0/100,000 in New Jersey to 17.2/100,000 in Oregon and 19.4/100,000 in Alaska. Males committed 78.4% of the completed suicides, whites 86. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.