Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in the United States: 1991-1992 and 2001-2002

Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;15(3):250-9. doi: 10.1038/mp.2008.98. Epub 2008 Sep 9.


The aim of the study is to compare the prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempts in the United States in 1991-1992 and 2001-2002, and identify sociodemographic groups at increased risk for suicidal ideation and attempts. Data were drawn from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (n=42,862) and the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=43,093), two nationally representative household surveys of non-institutionalized civilians aged 18 years and older, residing in the United States. The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts remained unchanged in the United States between 1991-1992 and 2001-2002. Specific groups, namely 18- to 24-year-old white and black women, 25- to 44-year-old white women and 45- to 64-year-old Native American men were identified as being at high risk for suicide attempts. Despite prevention and treatment efforts, the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts remains unchanged. Given the morbidity and mortality associated with suicide attempts, urgent action is needed to decrease the prevalence of suicide attempts in the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / trends*
  • Suicide, Attempted / trends*
  • United States / epidemiology