Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Teen suicide spike was no fluke

03.09.2008
After an alarming 1-year spike, study finds suicide rates remain high for kids
A troubling study in the September 3rd Journal of the American Medical Association raises new concerns about kids committing suicide in this country. After a one year spike in the number of suicides, doctors were hoping to see more normal numbers in the latest study, but they didn't.

The number of kids committing suicide in the U.S. remains higher than expected, and that has doctors and parents looking for answers.

For more than a decade the suicide rate among kids in this country had steadily and consistently declined, but that trend ended abruptly.

"Suddenly in 2004 we see the sharpest increase in the past 15 years and it appears that it's persisting into 2005," says Jeff Bridge, PhD, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

2005 is the most recent year that the numbers are available, and they don't look promising. Jeff Bridge is a researcher at Nationwide Children's Hospital who conducted the study. He says while the numbers dipped slightly between '04 and '05 overall they are still up significantly.

That's disturbing news to Rick Baumann. After his son, Gabe, first attempted suicide as a teenager, Rick devoted his life to suicide prevention and educating others. Like many parents, Rick knew little about warning signs.

"He just withdrew, wasn't answering phone calls to his friends and all of that, but I have four other children and he was a teenager, and I just assumed it was teenage behavior," says Rick.

But often it's much more than that, and now that researchers have identified what may be an emerging crisis, the next step is to figure out what's causing it. One answer may lie in the prescription of antidepressant medication. Because of concerns over side effects, the number of kids prescribed anti-depressants has dropped by as much as 20 percent** and that may be having a dire impact.

"The vast majority of young people who complete suicide have some sort of psychiatric disorder. Most commonly depression or some mood disorder," says John Campo, MD, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

So the kids who need the medicine most may not be getting it. Campo says there is no proven link between the drop in prescriptions and the rise in suicides, but the fact that they happened at the same time is worth looking into. Experts say they also want to look into the Internet and how that may be playing a role in the number of kids committing suicide.

*Suicide Trends Among Youths Aged 10 to 19 Years in the United States, 1996-2005, Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 300, No. 9, September 3, 2008

** John Campo, MD, Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Nationwide Children's Hospital - interviewed August, 2008


Increase in Youth Suicide Rate Following Decade-Long Decline May Reflect Emerging Health Crisis

Largest single-year increase in pediatric suicide rate cause for concern

A sudden and dramatic increase in pediatric suicides may reflect an emerging trend rather than a single-year anomaly. That's the conclusion of new suicide research, conducted at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and published in the September 3rd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which looked at pediatric suicide trends over a 10-year period.

Following a decade of steady decline, the suicide rate among U.S. youth younger than 20 years of age increased by 18 percent from 2003-2004 – the largest single-year change in the pediatric suicide rate over the past 15 years. Although worrisome, the one-year spike observed in 2003-2004 does not necessarily reflect a changing trend. Therefore, researchers examined national data on youth suicide from 1996-2005 in order to determine whether the increase persisted from 2004-2005, the latest year for which data are available.

Researchers estimated the trend in suicide rates from 1996-2003 using log-linear regression. Using that trend line, they estimated the expected suicide rates in 2004 and 2005 and compared the expected number of deaths to the actual observed number of deaths. Researchers found that although the overall observed rate of suicide among 10 to 19 year olds decreased by about 5 percent between 2004 and 2005 (the year following the spike) both the 2004 and 2005 rates were still significantly greater than the expected rates, based on the 1996-2003 trend.

"The fact that this significant increase in pediatric suicides continued into 2005 implies that the alarming spike witnessed from 2003-2004 was more than just a single-year anomaly," said Jeff Bridge, PhD, lead author and a principal investigator in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "We now need to consider the possibility that the increase is an indicator of an emerging public health crisis."

In order to understand the possible causes behind the increase in youth suicides between 2003 and 2005, researchers say additional studies must be conducted.

"Identifying the risk factors associated with pediatric suicide is an important next step," said Joel Greenhouse, PhD, Professor of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University and a co-author of the study.

Several factors that should be considered as possible contributors to the increase in youth suicides include the influence of internet social networks, increases in suicide among U.S. troops and higher rates of untreated depression in the wake of recent "black box" warnings on antidepressants – a possible unintended consequence of the medication warnings required by the Federal Drug Administration in 2004. Researchers stress that, whatever the explanation, effective interventions to reduce pediatric suicides must be addressed nationally.

Marti Leitch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New bioimaging technique is fast and economical

21.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>