Health officials say suicides among middle-aged Americans climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, a period that included the recession. Overall, the suicide rate for the age group jumped 28 percent from 1999 to 2010. And among whites, it shot up 40 percent.
The report says that by 2009, the number of deaths from suicide surpassed the number of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the United States.
One theory is that the recession caused more emotional trauma for this group, those ages 35 to 64. Experts also note that white baby boomers have always had a higher suicide rate.
The suicide rates for younger and older people did not change. And there was little change among middle-aged blacks and Hispanics. The numbers are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The three most common suicide mechanisms were firearms, poisoning (predominantly drug overdose), and suffocation (predominantly hanging).