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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>