Suicide ideation, attempts increasing among U.S. children

May 16, 2018 in Medicine & Health / Pediatrics

(HealthDay)—From 2008 to 2015 there was an increase in encounters for suicide ideation (SI) and suicide attempts (SAs) among U.S. children, according to a study published online May 16 in Pediatrics.

Gregory Plemmons, M.D., from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues used a retrospective analysis of administrative billing data from the Pediatric Health Information System database from 2008 to 2015 to examine trends in emergency and inpatient encounters for SI and SAs.

The researchers identified 115,856 SI and SA encounters during the study period. The annual percentage of all visits for SI and SAs increased from 0.66 percent in 2008 to 1.82 percent in 2015 (average annual increase, 0.16 percentage points). In all age groups, there were significant increases; these were higher in adolescents aged 15 to 17 and 12 to 14 years (average annual increase, 0.27 and 0.25 percentage points, respectively). Increases were higher in girls than in boys (average annual increases, 0.14 and 0.10 percentage points, respectively). There was seasonal variation, with the lowest percentage of cases observed during the summer and highest percentage during spring and fall.

"The growing impact of pediatric mental disorders has important implications for children's hospitals and health care delivery systems," the authors write.

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