Suicide Rates Among Girls, Young Women Alarmingly Increasing

First Posted: Mar 07, 2015 07:32 PM EST

A new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicide rate for girls and young women in the U.S. continues to rise at an increasingly fast pace.

Suicide rates had risen to 4.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2012 for among female victims, and suicide rates among had about quadrupled, hitting 1.7 from 0.5 in 1994.

"A person's first attempt may be their last attempt," said Dr. Eric Caine, director of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Caine was not a member of the report research team, in a news release. 

The suicide rate among boys has also seen an increase. However, the increase among women has been much higher. Yet experts are not exactly certain why this is the case.

Some predict that more young women may be hanging themselves or using other forms of suffocation--a more lethal form of drug overdose than methods that are used most by younger females.

From 2007-2013, the rate for young females went from 2.2 to 3.4 per 100,000. That's the highest since the 3.1 rate recorded in 1981, when such tracking began.

For young males, the rate went from 10.7 to 11.9 per 100,000. However, over the years, it seems to have leveled off in these last few years. 

Early prevention is key to stopping this health issue. Researchers believe that using data is a prime concern, given that suffocation as a suicide approach has the highest lethal rate when compared to firearms and poisoning. However, more studies are needed as well in order to determine how to prevent these issues. 

"Additional research (e.g., perceptions about hanging as a method of suicide) is needed to understand why suffocation suicide rates are increasing," the study authors concluded. 

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