As the overall US suicide rate increases, a CDC study showed that the trend toward higher rates in less populated parts of the country and lower rates in large urban areas has become more pronounced.
Using data from the National Vital Statistics System and the US Census Bureau, the researchers reported that from 1999 to 2015, the annual suicide rate increased by 14%, from 12.6 to 14.4 per 100, 000 US residents aged 10 years or older.
Higher suicide rates in less urban areas could be linked with limited access to mental health care, the opioid overdose epidemic, and social isolation, the investigators suggested. The 2007-2009 economic recession may have caused the sharp upswing, they added, because rural areas and small towns were hardest hit.
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