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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Study Looks at Connection between Economic Stress, Suicide

If the United States follows the pattern that occurred after the economic crisis in Japan, public health officials should watch for a significant increase in suicides, particularly among Baby Boomers, concluded a study scheduled for presentation at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting.

The new research was scheduled for presentation Sunday, May 15, at the 164th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, which is in Honolulu May 14-18.

Researchers looked at suicide rates in Japan during the late 1990s when that country experienced an economic downturn similar to recent trends in the United States and Europe. The study examined suicides in Japan by age, gender, and year in relation to a series of economic variables. If the U.S. rates of increased suicide approximate those in Japan, the country would experience a yearly increase of deaths due to suicide estimated at 14,610 per year, the study concluded.

Details of this study, along with five other new research studies, will be presented at a press briefing from the APA Annual Meeting. Members of the media can attend in Room 307 of the Hawaii Convention Center at 8 am Hawaii time, Monday, May 16, or participate online at 11 AM PDT/2 pm EDT by registering at

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at and

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