Tags: children | suicide | hospital | visits

Kids Suicide-Related Hospital Visits Almost Tripled

Kids Suicide-Related Hospital Visits Almost Tripled
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 May 2018 12:51 PM

Kids suicide-related hospital visits almost tripled from 2008 to 2015, but there is no clear reason why, according to new study. The rate of increase was highest among adolescent girls.

The study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and released in the publication Pediatrics, included a retrospective analysis of administrative billing data from the Pediatric Health Information System database that covered information from 49 children's hospitals for children ages 5 to 17, NBC News reported.

"When we looked at hospitalizations for suicidal ideation and suicidal encounters over the last decade, essentially 2008 to 2015, we found that the rates doubled among children that were hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or activity," Dr. Gregory Plemmons of Vanderbilt University told NBC News.

The New York Times reported the proportion of emergency room and hospital encounters for these suicide-related diagnoses almost tripled, from 0.66 percent in 2008 to 1.82 percent in 2015.

NBC News noted half of the suicide-related hospital encounters involved teens aged 15 to 17; 37 percent were 12 to 14; almost 13 percent were children aged 5 to 11 years.

"To our knowledge, this is one of only a few studies to report higher rates of hospitalization for suicide during the academic school year," Plemmons said.

The study revealed that the suicide-related rates were lowest in summer, a season which has historically seen the highest numbers in adults, suggesting that youth may face increased stress and mental health challenges when school is in session.

Plemmons and his colleagues said in the Pediatrics study that it is possible that physicians are paying more attention and sending kids to specialist hospitals because they don't feel equipped to deal with suicidal thinking.

"I don't have any one magic answer that explains why we're seeing this,” Plemmons told NBC News. "We know that anxiety and depression are increasing in young adults as well as adults. I think some people have theorized it's social media maybe playing a role, that kids don't feel as connected as they used to be."

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Kids suicide-related hospital visits almost tripled from 2008 to 2015, but there is no clear reason why, according to new study. The rate of increase was highest among adolescent girls.
children, suicide, hospital, visits
336
2018-51-16
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 12:51 PM
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