[www.inewsguyana.com] – A new Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), report says about 65,000 people take their own lives in the Americas, including the Caribbean, each year—more than seven per hour.
The report, “Suicide Mortality in the Americas,” is based on data from 48 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere.
It shows that suicide is a significant health problem and one of the region’s leading preventable causes of death.
Countries in the region with the highest suicide rates for 2005-2009 listed in the report were: Guyana (26.2 per 100,000); Suriname (23.3); Uruguay (14.2); Chile (11.2); Trinidad and Tobago (10.7); the United States (10.1); Cuba (9.9) and Canada (9.7).
Region-wide, PAHO said the Americas has a lower average suicide rate (7.3 per 100,000 inhabitants) than the global average (11.4 per 100,000) and lower than other World Health Organization (WHO) regions.
Within the Americas, however, PAHO said rates vary significantly in different countries, as well as by age and sex.
Among sub-regions, it said North America and the non-Hispanic Caribbean have the highest suicide rates.
PAHO said men have higher rates than women in all the region’s countries and among age groups, people over age 70 have the highest suicide rates.
Other significant findings of the new report include: Suicide is the third-leading cause of death in young people ages 10 to 24; adults over age 70 are the most likely to die from suicide; men are about 4 times more likely than women to die from suicide, although women make more suicide attempts; and the most common method of suicide in the region is suffocation, including hanging, followed by firearms and poisoning (including drug overdose and pesticide ingestion.
The report says suicide declined slightly in North America between 2005 and 2009 but increased in Latin America and the Caribbean. (CMC)