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Suicide Rates Falling Globally, But is it the Same in India?

In what seems like comforting news, global suicide levels have fallen by more than a third since 1990.

Updated
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Suicide Rates Falling Globally, But is it the Same in India?
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The rate of deaths from suicide worldwide has decreased by almost a third since 1990, according to a study published on Thursday, 7 February, which also found that over 44.2 percent of those who took their own lives in 2016 were from India and China.

The study published by The BMJ report journal found that total number of deaths from suicide increased by 6.7 per cent globally between 1990 and 2016 to 817,000 deaths in 2016.

However, when adjusted for age, the global mortality rate from suicide decreased by almost 33 percent worldwide over the same period. Researchers from University of Washington in the US show that men had higher mortality rates from suicide than women, and that higher rates tended to be linked to higher levels of social and economic deprivation.

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The research also showed that suicide trends vary substantially across countries and between groups, reflecting a complex interplay of factors that warrant further investigation.

Deaths from suicides in China and India-as the most populous countries-together constituted 44.2 per cent of global suicide deaths in 2016.

Suicide is a global public health concern, with around 800,000 deaths reported annually. The World Health Organisation aims to reduce suicide mortality by one third between 2015 and 2030.

Identifying those most at risk is therefore crucial for national prevention efforts, researcher said.

Suicide was the leading cause of age standardised years of life lost in the high income Asia Pacific region and was among the top 10 leading causes of death across eastern Europe, central Europe, high income Asia Pacific, Australasia, and high income North America.

Globally, suicide rates were higher for men (15.6 deaths per 100,000) than for women (7 deaths per 100,000).

However, the rate of decrease was lower for men (24 percent) than for women (49 percent). Women also experienced higher rates than men in most countries with a low sociodemographic index.

Suicide continues to be an important cause of mortality in most countries worldwide, but it is promising that both the global age standardised mortality rate and years of life lost rate from suicide have decreased by a third between 1990 and 2016, researchers said.

Whether this decline is due to suicide prevention activities, or whether it reflects general improvements to population health, warrants further research, they said.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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