US suicide rate rose sharply among middle-aged in past decade

NEW YORK (AP) - Suicides among middle-aged Americans climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, a period that included the recession, health officials said on Thursday.

Overall, the suicide rate for the age group jumped 28 per cent from 1999 to 2010. Among whites, it shot up 40 per cent.

One theory is that the recession caused more emotional trauma for this group, those ages 35 to 64. Experts also note that white baby boomers have always had a higher suicide rate.

The suicide rates for younger and older people did not change. There was little change among middle-aged blacks and Hispanics. The numbers are from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.