End of Drop in U.S. Teen Suicide Rates Seen in Study

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, September 4, 2008

End of Drop in U.S. Teen Suicide Rates Seen in Study

The suicide rate among U.S. teenagers stayed high for a second consecutive year in 2005, according to a study that suggested the fear of antidepressants may have curtailed use of the drugs.

While the rate of suicides fell 5.3 percent in 2005 from a year earlier, it remained higher than in 2003, when the number of teenagers killing themselves reached the low point of a steady eight-year decline, said researchers led by Jeff Bridge of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

From 1996 to 2003, the rate of suicides among boys and girls ages 10 to 19 fell 25 percent, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then, in 2004, it jumped 14 percent. Researchers said warnings that antidepressants had been linked to suicides in teenagers and young adults may have reduced the use of the medicines.

"We wanted to answer the question: Was 2004 an anomaly?'' said Bridge, an investigator at the Columbus hospital. The answer, Bridge concluded, is no.

Source: Bloomberg

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