Global economic crisis 'linked to suicide rise'

The recent economic crisis could be to blame for an increase in suicide rates in Europe and America, say experts.

Their analysis in the British Medical Journal looked at data from 54 countries to assess the global impact of the financial problems triggered by the collapse of US credit and housing markets in 2008.

In the year after the crisis began, the male suicide rate rose by 3.3% overall.

This was largely in the countries where there were more reported job losses.

The researchers from the universities of Oxford and Bristol in the UK, along with colleagues from Hong Kong University, used data from the World Health Organization mortality database, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook database.

In 2009, there was a 37% rise in unemployment and 3% falls in GDP per capita, reflecting the onset of the economic crisis in 2008.

At the same time, male suicide rates began to climb.

There were nearly 5,000 'extra' suicides above the expected level for that year.

These were mainly seen in the 27 European countries and 18 countries in the Americas studied.

In Europe, suicides increased among 15-24-year-old men, while in America the rise was seen in the 45-64 age group.

Yet the suicide rate for women did not change in Europe and only increased slightly in America.


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