Study: Baby Boomers Most At-Risk For Suicide

LOS ANGELES (KFWB NEWS TALK 980) — The generation known as the “baby boomers” may be among the highest-risk group for suicide rates among middle-aged people, according to a new study.

The journal Public Health Reports published the analysis by sociologists Ellen Idler of Emory and Julie Phillips of Rutgers University, which says that while the suicide rate for the U.S. population overall has been declining for decades, people born between 1945 and 1964 have recently broken that trend.

Since the early 2000s, most people aged 40-59 were considered baby boomers, a group which saw its suicide rate climb steadily over the past decade. The study’s authors found significant increases of more than 2 percent per year for men, and more than 3 percent per year for women, from 1999 to 2005.

The post-1999 increase has been particularly dramatic for those who are unmarried and those without a college degree, the analysis showed.

Anne Haas, Director of Prevention Projects for the American Foundation For The Prevention of Suicide, tells KFWB’s Maggie McKay that while it used to be the elderly were the biggest age group most likely to commit suicide, that’s all changed.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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