Attempted Suicide Rates, Risk Groups Essentially Unchanged, New Study Shows

January 20, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A recent analysis of national emergency department data found that rates and patterns of non-fatal suicide attempts in the U.S. did not significantly change between 2006 and 2013. Using data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, researchers evaluated more than three million emergency department visits related to suicide attempts and self-inflicted injury among individuals aged 10 and older. They found that the annual incidence of visits remained stable during the study period, with the largest proportion occurring in the spring. While patients were more likely to be female than male, the male patients tended to use more violent methods, such as hanging or firearms. Among both sexes, visits peaked between ages 15 and 19. “What stood out to us the most is that while the rate of fatal suicide has increased, the overall rate of nonfatal suicide attempts has not changed much over the years, nor have the patterns—age, sex, seasonality, mechanism, etc.—changed much,” said lead author Joseph Canner, interim co-director of the Johns Hopkins Surgery Center for Outcomes Research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Spark Extra! Read the study abstract.