The CDC reported new numbers last month in both deaths by suicide and drug overdoses that point to the worsening psychological well-being of America’s citizens. The CDC Director said the sobering statistics should be a wake up call.
Robert Redfield, M.D., CDC Director, said, “The latest CDC data show that the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide. Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”
In its newest report, the CDC notes that the age-adjusted suicide rate increased 33% from 10.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 14.0 in 2017.
The rate of suicide among females increased from 4.0 per 100,000 in 1999 to 6.1 in 2017, while the rate for males increased from 17.8 to 22.4. Compared with rates in 1999, suicide rates in 2017 were higher for males and females in all age groups from 10 to 74 years, said the CDC.
For 2017, the age-adjusted suicide rate for the most rural counties (20.0) was 1.8 times the rate for the most urban counties (11.1).
The rate for the most rural counties in 2017 (20.0) was 53% higher than the rate in 1999 (13.1).
The age-adjusted suicide rate for the most urban counties in 2017 (11.1 per 100,000) was 16% higher than the rate in 1999 (9.6).
Since 2008, suicide has ranked as the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in the United States. In 2016, suicide became the second leading cause of death for ages 10–34 and the fourth leading cause for ages 35–54.
Another report for 2017 figures from the CDC indicated that there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 9.6% higher than the rate in 2016.
The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.1 per 100,000 standard population in 1999 to 21.7 in 2017. For each year, rates were significantly higher for males than females.
Rates of drug overdose continued to increase. In 2017, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was 9.6% higher than the rate in 2016 (21.7 vs 19.8 per 100,000), although the percentage increase was lower than that seen from 2015 to 2016, when the rate rose by 21% (from 16.3 to 19.8 per 100,000).
The rate of drug overdose deaths in 2017 was 3.6 times higher than the rate in 1999. Rates increased for both men (from 8.2 in 1999 to 29.1 in 2017) and women (from 3.9 in 1999 to 14.4 in 2017). In 2017, the highest rates of drug overdose deaths occurred among adults aged 25 to 54 years.
From 1999 to 2017, the greatest increase in drug overdose death rates occurred among adults aged 55 to 64, from 4.2 to 28.0 per 100,000, a more than six-fold increase.