HealthDay News — The odds of suicide are significantly higher among certain occupations, according to research published in the July 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The study included data from the 17 states using the 2012 National Violent Death Reporting System. In 2012, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death among Americans 16 and older. From 2000 to 2012, an estimated 40 000 Americans died by suicide, the researchers said. From 2000 to 2012, the overall rates of suicide for people aged 16 and older rose 21.1%.
Men working in fishing, forestry, or farming had the highest rates of suicide for their gender. Among women, the highest rate was seen in those working in protective services, such as policing and firefighting (14.1 per 100,000). Men in the protective services field had a suicide rate of 34.1 per 100,000. Other occupations that carried significantly higher-than-normal rates of suicide included construction and extraction, with 53.3 suicides per 100,000, and installation, maintenance, and repair, with 47.9 suicides per 100,000. The job categories with the least suicides included personal care and service; office and administrative support; and education, training, and library. Each of these categories had eight or fewer suicides per 100,000 people.
“To reduce these suicide rates, employers need to focus on suicide prevention at the workplace, including employee-assistance programs and training to spot signs of suicide,” Wendy LiKamWa McIntosh, MPH, a health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, told HealthDay.
McIntosh WL, Spies E, Stone DM, et al. Suicide rates by occupational group – 17 states, 2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:641-645.