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Suicide Risk by Birth Cohort in the United States, 1949 to 1974

Suicide Risk by Birth Cohort in the United States, 1949 to 1974 Abstract • Following the demonstration by Solomon and Hellon that in the past 30 years, successive birth cohorts in Alberta, Canada, carry successively higher suicide risks as they age, we examined data by birth cohort in the Vital Statistics of the United States by race and sex over a similar period. We found the same phenomenon, in reduced magnitude, in birth cohorts of much greater size. Not only does each successive birth cohort start with a higher suicide rate, at each successive five-year interval it has a higher rate than the preceding cohort had at that age. The regularity of this phenomenon over the past 25 years in the United States implies continually rising suicide rates in these birth cohorts. It suggests that whatever the cause of this effect, it is early and lasting. Birth cohort analysis appears to offer an important new tool for studying suicide. Its implications have only begun to be examined. References 1. Mortality: Vital Statistics of the United States, 1974 . Hyattsville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Center for Health Statistics, vol 2, 1978. 2. Vital and Health Statistics series 20, No. 16. US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare Publication No. (HRA) 74-1853, 1974, p 45. 3. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1949. Government Printing Office, vol 2, 1951. 4. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1954. Government Printing Office, vol 2, 1956. 5. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1959. Government Printing Office, vol 2, 1961. 6. Mortality: Vital Statistics of the United States, 1964 . Rockville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, vol 2, 1966. 7. Mortality: Vital Statistics of the United States, 1969 . Rockville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare National Center for Health Statistics, vol 2, 1974. 8. Barr AJ, Goodnight JH, Sall JP, et al: A Users Guide to SAS '76 . Raleigh, NC, SAS Institute Inc, 1976. 9. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1940. Government Printing Office, 1943, p 21. 10. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1945. Government Printing Office, 1947, pp 92-93. 11. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1950. Government Printing Office, 1954, p 56. 12. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1955. Government Printing Office, 1957, pp 98-99. 13. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1960 . US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1963, pp 5-94, 95; 5-12, 13. 14. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1965. Government Printing Office, 1967, pp 1-20, 21. 15. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1970 . Rockville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1975, pp 1-24, 25. 16. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1975 . Hyattsville, Md, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1978, pp 1-24, 25. 17. Bagley CR: The evaluation of a suicide prevention scheme by an ecological method . Soc Sci Med 2:1-14, 1978.Crossref 18. Barraclough BM, Jennings C, Moss JR: Suicide prevention by the samaritans: A controlled study of effectiveness . Lancet 2:348-349, 1977. 19. Brown JH: Suicide in Britain . Arch Gen Psychiatry 36:1119-1124, 1979.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of General Psychiatry American Medical Association

Suicide Risk by Birth Cohort in the United States, 1949 to 1974

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1980 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-990X
eISSN
1598-3636
DOI
10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780180033003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • Following the demonstration by Solomon and Hellon that in the past 30 years, successive birth cohorts in Alberta, Canada, carry successively higher suicide risks as they age, we examined data by birth cohort in the Vital Statistics of the United States by race and sex over a similar period. We found the same phenomenon, in reduced magnitude, in birth cohorts of much greater size. Not only does each successive birth cohort start with a higher suicide rate, at each successive five-year interval it has a higher rate than the preceding cohort had at that age. The regularity of this phenomenon over the past 25 years in the United States implies continually rising suicide rates in these birth cohorts. It suggests that whatever the cause of this effect, it is early and lasting. Birth cohort analysis appears to offer an important new tool for studying suicide. Its implications have only begun to be examined. References 1. Mortality: Vital Statistics of the United States, 1974 . Hyattsville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Center for Health Statistics, vol 2, 1978. 2. Vital and Health Statistics series 20, No. 16. US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare Publication No. (HRA) 74-1853, 1974, p 45. 3. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1949. Government Printing Office, vol 2, 1951. 4. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1954. Government Printing Office, vol 2, 1956. 5. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1959. Government Printing Office, vol 2, 1961. 6. Mortality: Vital Statistics of the United States, 1964 . Rockville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, vol 2, 1966. 7. Mortality: Vital Statistics of the United States, 1969 . Rockville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare National Center for Health Statistics, vol 2, 1974. 8. Barr AJ, Goodnight JH, Sall JP, et al: A Users Guide to SAS '76 . Raleigh, NC, SAS Institute Inc, 1976. 9. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1940. Government Printing Office, 1943, p 21. 10. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1945. Government Printing Office, 1947, pp 92-93. 11. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1950. Government Printing Office, 1954, p 56. 12. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1955. Government Printing Office, 1957, pp 98-99. 13. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1960 . US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1963, pp 5-94, 95; 5-12, 13. 14. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1965. Government Printing Office, 1967, pp 1-20, 21. 15. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1970 . Rockville, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1975, pp 1-24, 25. 16. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1975 . Hyattsville, Md, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1978, pp 1-24, 25. 17. Bagley CR: The evaluation of a suicide prevention scheme by an ecological method . Soc Sci Med 2:1-14, 1978.Crossref 18. Barraclough BM, Jennings C, Moss JR: Suicide prevention by the samaritans: A controlled study of effectiveness . Lancet 2:348-349, 1977. 19. Brown JH: Suicide in Britain . Arch Gen Psychiatry 36:1119-1124, 1979.Crossref

Journal

Archives of General PsychiatryAmerican Medical Association

Published: May 1, 1980

References

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