In an interesting article published in the British Medical Journal (2013; 347: f5239 doi:10.1136/bmj. F5239. Published 17-9-2013) the impact of the economic crisis in 2008, its effect on the suicide rate and the extent to which it had affected men and women was studied.
In particular, the study looked at the number of suicides in 2009, comparing this figure to the suicide rates of the pre-crisis period between 2000 and 2007. Data from 54 countries on adults older than the age of 15 provided by the World Health Organization was analyzed.
It was found that in 2009, there were 4,884 more suicides than that observed between 2000 and 2007. This increase was greater among men in 27 European and 18 American countries. No change was observed for women in Europe and the increase seen in American countries (2.3%) was lower than that observed among men. The greatest increase was observed among European men aged between 15 and 24 years (11.7%).
In American countries, a greater increase among men aged 45 to 65 was also observed (5.2 %).
Increased suicide rate among men seems to be associated to increased unemployment, especially in countries which had low unemployment rates before the economic crisis.
In conclusion, we can safely say that the 2008 crisis has led to more suicides both in Europe and American countries, especially among men and in those countries with a greater unemployment rate.
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