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Wake up Families! Suicides have overtaken car wrecks as cause of death in the U.S.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 24th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

An alarming new study proves that for many Americans, things really are that bad: Suicide has since overtaken traffic accidents as a leading cause of death in the U.S. The sobering statistic says that the number of people who commit suicide in the U.S. has drastically increased while deaths from car accidents have dropped, making suicide the leading cause of injury death.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Suicides committed through falls or poisoning have risen significantly. Experts now fear that there could be many more unaccounted for, particularly in cases of overdose.

"Suicides are terribly under-counted," Ian Rockett, author of the study in the American Journal of Public Health says.

"I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe. We have a situation that has gotten out of hand."

Rockett added that his goal is to see the same attention paid to other injuries that has previously been paid to reducing the number of deaths in traffic accidents.

The results were compiled using National Center for Health Statistics data gathered from 2000 to 2009.

Researchers noted a 25 percent decrease in fatal car accidents. Deaths from falls rose 71 percent, poisoning 128 percent and from suicide 15 percent.

Higher automobile standards were credited for the decrease in traffic deaths. Stricter penalties for underage drinking and failing to wear seat belts were also named as contributing factors.

Previous research has suggested that suicide rates go up during recessions and times of economic crisis.

"Economic problems can impact how people feel about themselves and their futures as well as their relationships with family and friends," Feijun Luo of CDC's Division of Violence Prevention told Bloomberg.

"Prevention strategies can focus on individuals, families, neighborhoods or entire communities to reduce risk factors."

The study studied gender and race, concluding that fewer women died from the four main causes than men.

Hispanics were discovered to have fewer car crashes and suicides than whites -- but a higher murder rate.

More than 37,000 Americans took their own lives in 2009, a number that the government and private groups are working together to lower.

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