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Research Letter
July 2018

Age-Related Racial Disparity in Suicide Rates Among US Youths From 2001 Through 2015

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 3Center for Suicide Prevention and Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • 4Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 5Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 6Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(7):697-699. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0399

Suicide rates in the United States have traditionally been higher among white than black individuals across all age groups.1 However, suicide rates increased from 1993 to 1997 and 2008 to 2012 among black children aged 5 to 11 years (from 1.36 to 2.54 per million) and decreased among white children of the same age (from 1.14 to 0.77 per million).2 The existing literature does not adequately describe the extent of age-related racial disparities in youth suicide, and understanding racial differences is critical to developing targeted prevention efforts. Therefore, we compared age-specific suicide rates between black and white youths from 2001 through 2015.