The rates of suicide by suffocation increased significantly in people aged 10-24 years from 1994 to 2012, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The suffocation suicide rate for males was 3.0/100,000 in 1994, and increased to 4.5/100,000 by 2012. For females, the rate more than tripled, from 0.5/100,000 to 1.7/100,000 in 2012. The rates of firearm and poisoning suicides either decreased or remained steady for both males and females. The overall suicide rate for males decreased slightly from 1994 to 2012, and the rate for females increased slightly, the CDC said.

The increase in suffocation suicides and its high lethality “underscores the importance of early prevention strategies to reduce onset of suicidal thoughts in young persons and to help identify persons who are contemplating suicide or who are at greater risk for suicide,” the investigators wrote.

Find the full study in the MMWR ( 2015;64:201-5) .

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