(Refiles with "for" instead of "of" in first paragraph)
CHICAGO, April 14 Suicides in the United States
ebb and flow with the economy, rising in bad times and falling
in good, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said on Thursday.
Their study, published online in the American Journal of
Public Health, is the first to look at suicide trends by age
and business cycles, and it found that working Americans --
people aged 25 to 64 -- are significantly more prone to suicide
in tough economic times.
Researchers looked at the impact of business cycles on U.S.
suicide rates from 1928 through 2007. They found a general
correlation among suicide rates and major shifts in the U.S.
For example, suicides famously spiked during the Great
Depression, surging to a record high of 22 suicides per 100,000
people in 1932, up from 18 per 100,000 in 1928.
But other slowdowns also saw an increase in suicides,
including the end of the New Deal (1937-1938), the Oil Crisis
(1973-1975), and the Double-Dip Recession (1980-1982.)
And suicide rates tended to fall during periods of plenty,
such as during World War Two and the decade-long expansion from
1991 to 2001, in which the economy flourished and there were
low rates of unemployment.
"Knowing suicides increased during economic recessions and
fell during expansions underscores the need for additional
suicide prevention measures when the economy weakens," James
Mercy, acting director of CDC's Injury Center's Division of
Violence Prevention, said in a statement.
"It is an important finding for policy makers and those
working to prevent suicide."
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Eric