Study: Suicides, overdoses cause more US deaths than diabetes


The U.S.'s declining life expectancy is in part due to increasing mortality rates caused by suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-associated disorders, according to a report published in the journal Injury Prevention.

Here are four things to know:

1. For the report, researchers examined self-injury mortality data, which contains information on registered known suicides and possible non-suicide deaths from opioids and other drugs.

2. While national SIM rates and diabetes mortality rates converged in 2014 at 24 deaths per 100,000 population, the SIM rate surpassed the diabetes death rate in 2015, researchers found.

3. The gap increased in 2016 with estimated rates of 29.1 deaths attributable to suicide or overdoses per 100,000 population, compared to 24.8 deaths attributable to diabetes per 100,000 population. 

4. Researchers found SIM climbed about 80 percent between 2000 to 2016. They attributed the jump to an increased amount of fatal overdoses — whether intentional or accidental — caused by the opioid epidemic.

"Like premature mortality frequently associated with diabetes, deaths from self-injurious behaviors are preventable," researchers said. "[F]irst steps should include the standardization of terminology, definitions, practices and training, and the building of coalitions that engage the diverse spectrum of community and professional stakeholders seeking to stem the rising tide of these premature deaths."

More articles on population health:

Food insecurity strongly linked to increasing death rates

Google revamps Fit app to make health goals less intimidating

Hospital admissions tend to be higher in areas with more alcohol outlets


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