Saturday, September 6, 2008

Youth Suicides Continue to Rise in U.S. - One reason may be reluctance to prescribe antidepressants, study suggests

Suicides among U.S. children appear to be on the rise after a 15-year decline, and the trend may owe, in part, to fewer teens being prescribed antidepressants, a new study suggests.

Researchers thought a spike in youth suicides in 2004 may have been an anomaly. But the new study found the increase in suicides continued during 2005.

Looking at suicide trends among youngsters over a 15-year period, Jeff Bridge, from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found the rates of suicide among youths aged 10 to 19 were higher in 2004 and 2005 than would have been expected, based on suicide rate trends from 1996 to 2003.

"This is significant, because pediatric suicide rates in the U.S. had been declining steadily for a decade until 2004, when the suicide rate among U.S. youth younger than 20 years of age increased by 18 percent, the largest single-year increase in the past 15 years," said Bridge, an investigator in the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice.


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