U.S. Suicide Rates Rise During Recessions

Association between suicide rate, business cycle seen only in those aged 25 to 64

FRIDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be a correlation between U.S. suicide rates and economic recessions, particularly among people in their prime working years, according to research published online April 14 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Feijun Luo, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed changes in suicide rates and business cycles between 1928 and 2007 to examine the association between overall and age-specific suicides and business cycles.

The researchers found that the overall suicide rate rose during recessions and fell with economic growth, but age-specific suicide rates had different responses to recessions and expansions. For example, suicides rose during recessions and fell during expansions among people aged 25 to 64, but this behavior was not seen in people 15 to 24 or those aged 65 and older.

"Business cycles may affect suicide rates, although different age groups responded differently. Our findings suggest that public health responses are a necessary component of suicide prevention during recessions," the authors write.

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