1999-2010: Nevada Led U.S. in Firearm Suicides For Those 50 and - 8 News NOW

1999-2010: Nevada Led U.S. in Firearm Suicides For Those 50 and Older

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LAS VEGAS -- Suicides by firearm have occurred at a higher rate for Nevadans 50 and older than any of their age group peers nationwide.

That's just one of many grim statistics about suicides in Nevada that can be culled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the years 1999 through 2010.

The CDC's interactive fatal injury database, WISQARS, shows that 5,505 suicides were committed in the state during those years, or 19.39 per 100,000 residents. That ranked Nevada fourth highest in the nation and nearly double the national average of 11.23 per 100,000 residents.

Nevada's 2010 suicide rate of 20.26 was also at its highest point since 1999.

Of the 5,505 suicides, 3,122 or 56.7 percent were committed by firearms. Nevada also ranked fourth in this category nationwide during the 12-year period with a firearm suicide rate of 10.99 per 100,000 residents, nearly double the national 5.9 rate.

A closer look at the data, though, shows that Nevada topped the nation in firearm suicides for those 50 and older. More specifically, Nevada ranked first among 70 and older victims with a rate of 29.01 per 100,000 (compared to 11.6 nationally), first among individuals 60 to 69 with a rate of 17.88 per 100,000 (compared to 8.44 nationally), and first among those 50 to 59 with a rate of 16.28 per 100,000 (compared to 8.42 nationally).

Nevada's lowest firearm suicide ranking by age group was 17th involving teenagers 15 to 19.

Males in Nevada were more than six times as likely as females to take their own lives by firearm during those years. Whereas the male firearm suicide rate was 18.83 per 100,000 residents, the female rate was 2.94 per 100,000. But Nevada's female rate was slightly more than double the U.S. average for females (1.46 per 100,000), while Nevada's male rate was somewhat less than double the national rate for males (10.5 per 100,000).

Firearm suicides in Nevada were particularly acute among older non-Hispanic white males. The most vulnerable group were victims aged 80 to 84, who had a firearm suicide rate of 98.08 per 100,000 residents. That was nearly nine times the statewide rate of 10.99 per 100,000.

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