June 18, 2009

CDC: One-quarter of suicides intoxicated

A 17-state study found about one-quarter of those who died by suicide were above the legal limit for alcohol intoxication, U.S. health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, issued Thursday, said the study showed alcohol was linked to suicide across a variety of populations including sex, age and racial/ethnic groups.

The CDC analyzed data from the National Violent Death Reporting System for the two-year period 2005-2006 to examine the relationship between alcohol and suicide among racial/ethnic groups.

The results of the analysis showed that based upon blood alcohol concentration, the overall prevalence of alcohol intoxication -- blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 mg/dL -- was 23.6 percent among those who died by suicide. The highest percentage was among American Indian/Alaska Native at 37.1 percent, followed by Hispanics/Latinos at 28.7 percent and among those ages 20-49 at 28.2 percent, the study said.