Suicide rate rising faster among women than men, CDC says

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Warning Signs of Suicide and Resources for Help

Suicide rates among women in the United States rose 60 percent over the past decade, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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“Typically, there's between three and four times as many suicides among males as among females,” said Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a medical epidemiologist at the NCHS and the main author of the new study.

Women ages 45 to 64 saw the greatest increase in death by suicide.

More than half of these deaths tracked by the CDC involved women who had no known mental health issues.

According to the American Psychological Association, women said their stress levels have risen in recent years. 

CDC officials state that a set of conditions like family responsibilities, work and relationships - can all contribute to factors leading to suicide.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

These numbers are released after the recent high-profile deaths of acclaimed chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade.

In the days following Spade and Bourdain’s deaths, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline jumped 25 percent. 

The authors of this study recommend that policymakers to take action, stating that a mental health evaluation should be a required part of primary doctor care visits.

Mental health professionals encourage people to talk more openly about suicide and discuss it is a treatable public health issue, rather than a secret or personal failure.

If you or someone you know has talked about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for New York Academ
Designer Kate Spade attends the Tribeca Ball 2011 at the New York Academy of Art on April 4, 2011 in New York City. Spade died at age 55 in 2018. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for New York Academy of Art)

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