New Study Describes Suicide Trends Among American Indian/Alaska Natives
Findings present data from the National Violent Death Reporting System from 18 states, 2003-2014.
American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have the highest rates of suicide of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. The rates of suicide in this population have been increasing since 2003. According to analysis of National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) data from 18 states, AI/AN people who died by suicide were younger and were more likely to live in a non-metropolitan area than non-Hispanic whites who died by suicide. The high burden of suicide among the AI/AN population and the comparative differences in suicide circumstances among AI/AN decedents illustrate some of the disparities this population faces. Evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention strategies that are culturally-relevant and address multiple risk factors for this population are important.
Other key findings:
- Among suicide decedents with available information about their geographic area of residence, AI/AN suicide decedents were 6.6 times more likely to live in a non-metropolitan area than non-Hispanic white decedents.
- Among those tested, AI/AN decedents had more than twice the odds of a positive alcohol toxicology result than non-Hispanic whites.
- Among suicide decedents with available circumstance information related to their death, AI/AN decedents had 2.4 times the odds of the suicide of a friend or family member impacting their death, compared with non-Hispanic white decedents.
- More than one third (36%) of AI/AN people who died by suicide were aged 10–24 years (vs. 11% of non-Hispanic whites).
- Intimate partner problems were a common precipitating circumstance for both AI/AN (39%) and non-Hispanic white suicide decedents (29%), among decedents with available circumstance information, but AI/AN decedents were significantly more likely to experience this circumstance.
Suicide is preventable with multiple, comprehensive suicide prevention strategies. CDC’s technical package of policies, programs, and practices to prevent suicide helps communities focus on strategies that have the best available evidence to prevent suicide. Innovative prevention strategies, such as school-based interventions can improve access to life skills development programs for youth at-risk in non-metropolitan and rural areas.
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Facebook: National Violent Death Reporting System data show that American Indians/Alaska Natives face disparities in the burden of suicide, risk factors for suicide, and circumstances surrounding suicide deaths. Suicide is preventable. Culturally-relevant, evidence-based prevention strategies are needed to address multiple risk factors. Read more from @CDCMMWR: go.usa.gov/xntrk
Twitter: #NVDRS data show that American Indians/Alaska Natives face disparities in the burden of suicide, risk factors for suicide, and circumstances surrounding suicide deaths. Suicide is preventable. Culturally-relevant evidence-based prevention strategies are needed. More in @CDCMMWR:go.usa.gov/xntrk
- CDC: Suicide Prevention
- Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs and Practices
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)
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