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Journal Article


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2004; 53(22): 471-474.


(Copyright © 2004, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






In 2001, suicide was the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-19 years. The most common method of suicide in this age group was by firearm (49%), followed by suffocation (mostly hanging) (38%) and poisoning (7%). During 1992-2001, although the overall suicide rate among persons aged 10-19 years declined from 6.2 to 4.6 per 100,000 population, methods of suicide changed substantially. To characterize trends in suicide methods among persons in this age group, CDC analyzed data for persons living in the United States during 1992-2001. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated a substantial decline in suicides by firearm and an increase in suicides by suffocation in persons aged 10-14 and 15-19 years. Beginning in 1997, among persons aged 10-14 years, suffocation surpassed firearms as the most common suicide method. The decline in firearm suicides combined with the increase in suicides by suffocation suggests that changes have occurred in suicidal behavior among youths during the preceding decade. Public health officials should develop intervention strategies that address the challenges posed by these changes, including programs that integrate monitoring systems, etiologic research, and comprehensive prevention activities.


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