Self-injury ties with diabetes as 7th leading cause of death in U.S.

Researcher: Ian Rockett, PhD, MA, MPH
A new study finds self-injury – suicide and drug self-intoxication – ties with diabtes as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and ranks ahead of influenza and pneumonia combined and kidney disease.

Ian Rockett, Ph.D., professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology and affiliate of the Injury Control Research Center, led the study reported in JAMA Psychiatry online.

He collaborated with researchers from seven other universities. They analyzed death certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found that self-injury mortality increased by 65 percent over a 15-year period – from an estimated 40,289 deaths in 1999 to 76,227 in 2014. The self-injury death rate rose from 14 to 24 for every 100,000 people, and it continually exceeded the kidney disease mortality rate, surpassed the influenza and pneumonia rate by 2006 and matched the diabetes rate in 2014.

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