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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Suicide

Why Is This Important?

From 2015 to 2017, Utah's age-adjusted suicide rate was 22.0 per 100,000 persons, with an average of 628 suicides per year. Utah had the fifth highest age-adjusted suicide rates in the U.S. during this time period. In 2017, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17 and ages 18 to 24. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 25 to 44 and the fourth-leading cause of death for ages 45-64. Overall, suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death for Utahns (age-adjusted rate). Completed suicides are only part of the problem. More people are hospitalized or treated in an emergency room 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, during the past 12 months before 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% of these students suffered an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse. 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, Salt Lake County had a significantly higher rates of students reporting making a suicide plan and of attempting suicide compared to the state. All suicide attempts should be taken seriously. Those who survive suicide attempts are often seriously injured and many have depression and other mental health problems. Suicide is a complex public health issue where victims may be blamed and family members stigmatized. Consequently, suicide is not openly discussed making it difficult to collect meaningful data that is vital to suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide by Sex and Year, Utah and U.S., 1999-2017 and U.S. 1999-2016

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Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2017
  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)

Data Notes

Suicides are determined using ICD-10 codes X60-X84, Y87.0, *U03.

Risk Factors

The 2013 Prevention Needs Assessment showed that students who had been bullied both at school and electronically were at especially high risk, being 5.8 times more likely to have considered suicide. A lower risk of suicide ideation was found among students who regularly attended religious services or activities and regularly ate a meal with their family. Even among those who had experienced an episode of depressive symptoms in the previous year, students reporting religious involvement and family mealtimes were still less likely to have considered suicide in the past year. Many conditions and stressors may be related to suicide including: *Previous suicide attempt(s) *History of depression or other mental illness *Alcohol or drug abuse *Family history of suicide or violence *Physical illness *Local epidemics of suicide[[br]] [[br]] Source: [] (accessed 1/4/2017)

How Are We Doing?

The 2017 Utah age-adjusted suicide rate was 22.7 per 100,000 population. Males (34.2 per 100,000 population) had a significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rate compared to females (11.5 per 100,000 population). In Utah from 2015 to 2017, males had significantly higher suicide rates than females in every age group. Males ages 45-54 and 75 and older had the highest suicide rates among males (47.7 per 100,000 population). Females 45-54 years of age had the highest suicide rates among female age groups (22.1 per 100,000 population). From 2015 to 2017, TriCounty LHD, Central Utah LHD, Southeast LHD, and Weber-Morgan LHD had significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rates compared to the state rate. Among Utah Small Areas, SLC (Downtown) V2, Duchesne County, Ogden (Downtown), Kearns V2, Washington City, Southwest LHD (Other), Sandy (West), Daggett and Uintah County, and St. George had significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rates compared to the state rate during 2015-2017.

What Is Being Done?

The UDOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement the Utah Violent Death Reporting System (UTVDRS). UTVDRS is a data collection and monitoring system that will help Utahns better understand the public health problem of violence by informing decision makers about the magnitude, trends, and characteristics of violent deaths such as suicide, and to evaluate and continue to improve state-based violence prevention policies and programs. Data are collected from the Office of the Medical Examiner, Vital Records, and law enforcement agencies and are linked together to help identify risk factors, understand circumstances, and better characterize perpetrators of violent deaths. The Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) has partnered with the Division of Substance and Mental Health (DSAMH) to facilitate the Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the suicide rate

U.S. Target: 10.2 suicides per 100,000 population
State Target: 13.3 suicides per 100,000 population

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 11/19/2018

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 24 August 2019 16:38:56 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT