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Recession has led to higher suicide rates

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: November 5, 2012 - 11:59 AM

The rate of suicide in the United States rose sharply during the first few years since the start of the recession, a new analysis has found.

In the report at the website of The Lancet, a medical journal, researchers found that the rate between 2008 and 2010 increased four times faster than it did in the eight years before the recession. The rate had been increasing by an average of 0.12 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 through 2007. In 2008, the rate began increasing by an average of 0.51 deaths per 100,000 people a year. Without the increase in the rate, the total deaths from suicide each year in the United States would have been lower by about 1,500, the study said.

Suicide rates often spike during economic downturns, and recent studies of rates in Greece, Spain and Italy have found similar trends. The new study is the first to analyze the rate of change in the United States state by state, using suicide and unemployment data through 2010.

Read more from the New York Times.

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