Study links suicide rate to economic conditions

Recent research indicates that the suicide rate has a lot to do with the shape of the economy. There are more suicides in times of economic hardship, and fewer suicides in times of economic prosperity findings suggest. The study I’m referring to makes it look like suicide is less genetically determined than some people might have thought it was. This is according to a story in Physorg.com, Suicide rises and falls with economy: US study [shows].

The study pointed to peaks and valleys.

Suicide rates among people of typical working age, 25 to 64, were highest during the Great Depression in 1932, and lowest around the time of the dot-com Internet boom in 2000, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study showed dips and rises.

The CDC findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, show a series of higher suicide rates in times of trouble, such as during the oil crisis of 1973-75, and the double-dip recession of 1980-82.

Suicide rates were low during times of expansion.

Suicide rates were lowest when the economy was growing, such as the post World War II period (1939-1945) and during an extended period of financial expansion from 1991 to 2001.

This is curious because suicide has often been associated with “mental illness”, and “mental illness” is thought by some mental health professionals to have a biological basis. Now whether the poverty gene is connected to the suicide gene, and the prosperity gene is connected to the survival gene, the article didn’t speculate on.

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