Surge in suicide rates among older men in US: CDC Report

Surge in suicide rates among older men in US: CDC Report | Credits: Google
Surge in suicide rates among older men in US: CDC Report | Credits: Google

United States: The suicide rates in the United States have witnessed a surge and according to the recently conducted government data, older men have become the “most susceptible.”

The report was published on Wednesday by researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers underscored that in the year 2021, for every 100,000 men (aged 55 and over), 30 were suicide deaths. The number was more than double the overall rate, which was just 14 suicide deaths for every 100,000 people.

The researchers have found that the older men population is at a greater risk for suicide. In the same year, of every 100,000 men (aged 85 and over), 56 were suicide deaths. The report underlined that this figure has surpassed any other age group.

Surge in suicide rates among older men in US: CDC Report | Credits: Google Images

Comments by expert

A psychiatry professor at the University of Rochester – Dr Yeastes Conwell, during an interaction with CNN, said that suicide is complex. Furthermore, he added that suicide could be fuelled by five factors – depression, disease, disability, disconnection and deadly means.

Conwell mentioned, “Imagine a Venn diagram with these five circles, each representing one of those ‘Ds’ that overlap. The more of the intersecting circles one is in, the greater the risk.”

In addition to this, he explained that the combination of physical illness and disability, as well as more social isolation, leaves older adults more vulnerable to suicide, as per the reports by HealthDay News.

Suicide rate among women population

Additionally, the report also underscored that the women population is less susceptible to suicide as compared to the men. However, the researchers have concluded the suicide rate among women has increased over the last two decades, but still, it falls far below that of men.

Reports claimed that in 2021, for every 100,000 women, six (6) were suicide deaths.  

Involvement of firearms

The experts have outlined that this gender difference may be fuelled by firearms.

The report found that over half of suicide cases involve guns, and among older men – aged 65 and above, firearms were used in at least three-quarters of suicides in 2021.

Surge in suicide rates among older men in US: CDC Report | Credits: Google Images

A survey from Pew Research Centre has claimed that men are more likely than women to possess a gun and senior citizens are most likely to have a gun at house. HealthDay News has also reported that guns are considered to be more lethal means of suicide as the attempts are fatal.

In this regard, Conwell mentioned that men find more comfort and access to firearms.

He also stated, “Older men in our society tend not to have the skills in developing and maintaining close relationships with as many other people as do women in our culture,” as per HealthDay News.

He continued saying, “There’s too much identity tied up in one’s work, so that is lost (after retirement). And then there’s the cultural script of what maleness means in our culture, so men just won’t admit or won’t receive care for depression because of that sense that it’s somehow not what a man does.”

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