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 Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>