Objectives: This study examined incidence rates of medically identified suicide acts (self-inflicted injuries, either fatal or nonfatal) and case fatality rates by age, sex, race, and method used.
Methods: The authors analyzed data on 10,892 suicides and 57,439 attempted suicides among hospital-admitted individuals in 8 states, along with 6219 attempted suicides among individuals released from emergency departments in 2 states.
Results: The 8 states experienced a mean of 11 suicides and 119 attempted suicides per 100,000 residents each year. Groups with high suicide rates were men, the elderly, and Whites; groups with high attempted suicide rates were teenagers, young adults, women, and Blacks and Whites aged 25 to 44 years. Blacks aged 15 to 44 years evidenced high attempted suicide rates undocumented in previous studies. Poisoning and firearm were the most common methods used among those attempting suicide and those completing suicide acts, respectively. The most lethal method was firearm.
Conclusions: The characteristics of suicides and attempted suicides differ dramatically. Method used is important in the lethality of the act.