News from the FDA/CDC

Suicide deaths rising in children aged 10-19 years


Violent deaths have been rising among young people aged 10-19 years in the United States since 2007, driven largely by increases in suicides, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Suicide and homicide death rates in young people, 2000-2017

Death rates from suicide for children aged 10-14 years jumped by 178% from 2007 to 2017, while teenagers aged 15-19 years experienced a 76% increase over that period, with both changes reaching significance, the NCHS said in a recent data brief based on data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The actual rate for teens was higher to begin with, however, so in absolute terms the increase is larger for the older group. In 2007, deaths from suicide occurred at a rate of 6.7 per 100,000 persons for persons aged 15-19 years, and by 2017 that rate was up significantly to 11.8 per 100,000. Among children aged 10-14 years, the suicide-related death rate climbed from 0.9 per 100,000 in 2007 to 2.5 in 2014, the NCHS investigators reported.

The news was somewhat better on the other side of the violent death coin. Homicides are down by a significant 18% since 2000 among children aged 10-14 years, as the rate dropped from 1.1 per 100,000 in 2000 to 0.9 in 2017. The homicide rate since 2000 is down slightly for teens aged 15-19 years, but it has risen 32% in recent years, going from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2013 to 8.7 in 2017, they said.

Suicide was the second-leading cause of death in both age groups in 2017, and homicide was third for those aged 15-19 and fifth among 10- to 14-year-olds, the investigators noted.

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