The suicide rate among Americans has shot up by more than a quarter over the last decade and more people now kill themselves than die in car accidents, according to a new government report.
The paper, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, looked at data from 1999 to 2010. In 2010, roughly 34,000 died in car accidents, while more than 38,000 Americans took their own lives, CBS News reports.
"Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common," CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden, said. "This report highlights the need to expand our knowledge of risk factors so we can build on prevention programs that prevent suicide."
In 1999, the suicide rate for adults aged 35-64 was 13.7 deaths per 100,000. By
2010, the numbers increased 28 percent to 17.6 suicide deaths per 100,000 Americans.
Suicide prevention programs are typically aimed at those younger and older than this middle-aged group. The suicide rate for those aged under 34 or over 65 did not show any significant change.
The CDC report cites the recession as a possible cause for the spike, alongside an increase in prescription pain killers.
"Historically, suicide rates tend to correlate with business cycles, with higher rates observed during times of economic hardship," the report states.
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