February 4, 2020

Study confirms nurses at higher risk of suicide

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this first national study of US nurse suicide, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health, Department of Nursing, found that male and female nurses are at higher risk of suicide than the general population.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System show that female nurses have been at greater risk since 2005 (10 per 100,000) than the general population (7 per 100,000), and males have been at higher risk since 2011 (27 per 100,000).


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Opioids and benzodiazepines were the most commonly used method of suicide for females, and firearms were the most commonly used by males.

Unexpectedly, the data did not show a rise in suicide, but that nurse suicide has been unaddressed for years, the authors say. Further research is needed to determine the best prevention methods.

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