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Suicide becoming an epidemic in developed countries

Published: Thursday, May 23 2013 11:45 a.m. MDT

The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans climbed a startling 28 percent in a decade, a period that included the recession and the mortgage crisis, the government reported Thursday. (Shutterstock) The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans climbed a startling 28 percent in a decade, a period that included the recession and the mortgage crisis, the government reported Thursday. (Shutterstock)

The United States and other developed countries are facing a new epidemic: suicide.

Tony Dokoupil of The Daily Beast cites a Center for Disease Control study that says suicides in the United States have increased every year since 1999. In developed countries, it is perhaps the only cause of death that will have a rate that continues to rise.

But why is this happening? And what can we do to to stop it?

According to the CDC, there has been close to a 20 percent overall jump in the national suicide rate in the last decade, and the United States is on track to have more than 40,000 suicides this year alone, which would be the highest annual total on record.

Dokoupil writes that in developed countries, suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 49, and that the group with the highest suicide rate is middle-aged adults. This is especially concerning because the ages of the members of the group suggest they have kids and families to take care of. In the last decade, the suicide rate has decreased slightly among teenagers and those in their early 20s, but there's been a 30 percent increase for those age 45 to 64.

Editor's Note: The original version of this story posted on May 23, 2013, failed to properly follow our editorial policies. The story was shortened on Oct. 8, 2013 to fall within our editorial guidelines for aggregation.

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