Wednesday, September 3, 2008

U.S. Youth Suicide rates spike in 2004

After declining U.S. youth suicide rates from 1996 to 2003, the numbers increased 14.5 percent in 2004. A Carnegie Mellon statistics professor is trying to understand why. Dr. Joel Greenhouse says the jump was first looked at as an statistical anomaly. Common risk factors such as substance abuse and the use of firearms have not changed in 10 to 19-year-old youths.

However, one possible influence is the Food and Drug Administration's "black box" label on antidepressants, initiated in 2004. Others include the increased use of internet social networks and increases in suicide among U.S. troops. Suicide statistics declined in 2005, but Dr. Greenhouse says those rates are still well above the previous regression.

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