Recession Blamed for More than 10,000 Suicides in North America and Europe

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The Great Recession that began in 2007 appears to have taken more than a financial toll: New research suggests that the economic downturn could be linked with more than 10,000 suicides across North America and Europe.

The study found that between 2008 and 2010, rates of suicide surged in the European Union, Canada and the United States. The increase was four times higher among men than women, according to the report published in the current issue of theBritish Journal of Psychiatry.

“There has been a substantial rise in suicides during the recession, greater than we would have anticipated based on previous trends,” lead author Dr. Aaron Reeves, of Oxford University’s department of sociology, said in a university news release.

In conducting the study, researchers from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine examined information on suicides from the World Health Organization. The data included 24 countries in the European Union as well as Canada and the United States.

The investigators found a reversal in the decline in suicides in the European Union that coincided with the beginning of the economic crisis in 2007. By 2009, suicides had increased by 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, suicides in Canada rose by 4.5 percent between 2007 and 2010. In the United States there was an increase of 4.8 percent during this time period, the study found.

According to the study authors, these figures are “conservative” estimates. They said that the actual number of suicides since the recession hit are likely much greater than expected.

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SOURCE: HealthDay News

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