ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

Adolescent suicide rate higher than predicted

September 4, 2008 1:33 AM UTC

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that although the overall observed rate of suicide among adolescents ages 10-19 declined in 2004 and 2005 compared with 2003, the rates were significantly greater than expected based on the 1996-2003 trend. The authors said there were 326 and 292 excess deaths in 2004 and 2005, respectively, compared with the numbers predicted using trends from the previous eight years.

The authors listed four possible factors that could be causing the higher than expected suicide rates: more untreated depression due to boxed warnings on antidepressants; changes in the prevalence of known factors such as alcohol use or access to firearms; influence of Internet social networks; and increases in suicide among U.S. troops, some of whom are older adolescents. ...