CDC: Rates of Suicide Vary by Age, Sex, Mechanism in Over 55s

From 2001 to 2021, largest percent increase in suicide rates occurred for men ages 55 to 64 years and women ages 65 to 74 years

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For adults ages 55 years and older, the rates of suicide vary by age group, sex, and mechanism of suicide, according to a November data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Matthew F. Garnett, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues present suicide rates for adults age 55 years and older by sex and mechanism of suicide using data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The researchers found that among adults age 55 years and older, the highest rates of suicide in 2021 were among those age 85 years and older for men and 55 to 64 years for women (55.7 and 7.8 deaths, respectively, per 100,000 population). Between 2001 and 2021, the largest percentage increase in suicide rates occurred among men age 55 to 64 years and women age 65 to 74 years. For individuals aged 55 years and older, in 2021, the leading mechanism of suicide was firearm-related suicide across age groups among men; and rates of firearm-related and poisoning-related suicide were similar among women across age groups.

“Among adults age 55 and older, the suicide rate for men generally increased with age, while the suicide rate for women decreased with age,” the authors write.

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