Important Facts for Suicide
DefinitionSuicide Death Rate: Number of resident deaths resulting from the intentional use of force against oneself per 100,000 population (ICD-10 codes X60-X84, Y87.0, *U03). Suicide Risk Among Students: Percentage of students who reported a suicide risk factor (felt sad or hopeless, seriously considered attempting suicide, made a suicide plan, or attempted suicide) during the past 12 months.
NumeratorSuicide Death Rate: Number of deaths resulting from the intentional use of force against oneself. Suicide Risk Among Students: Number of students who reported a suicide risk factor (felt sad or hopeless, seriously considered attempting suicide, made a suicide plan, or attempted suicide) during the past 12 months.
DenominatorSuicide Death Rate: Total number of persons in the population of Utah. Suicide Risk Among Students: Number of surveyed Utah high school students.
Data Interpretation IssuesICD stands for the International Classification of Diseases. It is a coding system maintained by the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics used to classify causes of death, such as suicide, on death certificates. These codes are updated every decade or so to account for advances in medical technology. The U.S. is currently using the 10th revision (ICD-10) to code causes of death. The 9th revision (ICD-9) is still used for hospital and emergency department visits. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey includes surveys of representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students in public schools. The survey is conducted in odd years. Data are self-reported and subject to recall bias. Data are from a sample survey and subject to selection bias. Comparisons of annual rates must be interpreted cautiously as methods used to collect data my vary from year to year. With the introductions of active parental consent for Utah school surveys between 1997 and 1999, the student response rate for the survey decreased significantly. Participation in the 2015 was too low to meet the reporting threshold as defined by CDC, so results for that year are not available.
Why Is This Important?From 2016 to 2018, the age-adjusted suicide rate in Utah was 22.2 per 100,000 persons, with an average of 647 suicides per year. Utah had the fifth-highest age-adjusted suicide rate in the U.S. during this time period. In 2018, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 18-24 and ages 25 to 44 and the fifth leading cause of death for ages 45-64. Overall, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for Utahns (age-adjusted rate). Suicide deaths are only part of the problem. More people are hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for suicide attempts than are fatally injured. In 2014 (the most recent data year available), 13 Utahns were treated for self-inflicted injuries every day (3,280 treat-and-release emergency department visits plus 1,294 total hospitalizations). According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in the 12 months preceding the survey, Utah high school students reported the following: 33.0% felt sad or hopeless, 21.6% seriously considered attempting suicide, 17.1% made a suicide plan, 9.6% attempted suicide one or more times, and 4.0% had a suicide attempt that required medical attention. The 2017 Prevention Needs Assessment data indicate that Salt Lake County had significantly higher rates of students reporting feeling sad or hopeless, TriCounty Health District students had significantly higher rates of seriously considering suicide, and Salt Lake County had significantly higher rates of students reporting making a suicide plan and attempting suicide compared to the state. All suicide attempts should be taken seriously. Suicide attempt survivors are often seriously injured, are likely to have depression and/or another mental health disorder, and are at an increased risk for suicide. Suicidal behavior is a serious and complex public health issue that takes an enormous toll on communities in both economical and human costs.
Healthy People Objective MHMD-1:Reduce the suicide rate
U.S. Target: 10.2 suicides per 100,000 population
State Target: 13.3 suicides per 100,000 population