START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Shocking Link to Suicide Rates

Shocking Link to Suicide Rates

In the wake of the tragic loss of Robin Williams, one of the great comedians of our time, and his suicide, it is important to examine why suicide rates are increasing with the hope that better understanding will improve the chances of saving peoples’ lives.

Sadly, suicide and death from self-inflicted injuries is currently the 14th most common cause of death. According to current increases in suicide rates, some experts believe that in 17 years it will be the 12th most common cause of death. While there are many possible reasons for the increase in suicides, including:  psychiatric illness, mood disorders, and substance abuse, one study found an unusual link between altitude and the incidence of suicide.

Researchers from the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, assessed mortality data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published their findings in the journal High Altitude Medicine & Biology. After examining 2584 counties across the US and suicide rates over twenty years, as well as accounting for various other factors, they found a shocking correlation between suicide and altitude. The higher rates of suicide were found in the counties situated at the highest altitude.

The researchers concluded that “altitude is strongly associated with suicide rates in the United States. This novel finding is not explained by county differences in demographic factors, income, or geographic isolation.” The researchers found no correlation between other forms of death and altitude.

An earlier correlation linking suicide to altitude was also found in South Korean counties and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The researchers of the High Altitude Medicine & Biology study hope that additional research may help to determine the exact reason(s) for the increased risk of suicide at higher altitudes although they note the possibility of reduced oxygen, brain hormonal changes, and other possible factors. Of course, altitude is not the only factor to consider or address but greater understanding of the precise biological and biochemical workings behind the increased suicide risk linked to altitude may help save lives. In the meantime, perhaps health care specialists will be able to address the altitude factor by encouraging relocation to communities in lower altitudes, oxygen therapy, and increased monitoring of and assistance with people suffering from depression or at high risk of suicide.

9 Physical Symptoms of Depression

Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.  Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox and 60 Seconds to Slim. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites and, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.

Read more: Health, Alternative Therapies, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Community Service, Depression, General Health, Healthy Schools, Make a Difference, Mental Wellness, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Remedies, Stress, Teens, , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
5:52AM PDT on Sep 28, 2014

Depression has many factors that cause a person to attempt or be successful in a suicide attempt. Higher altitudes is not something that I have heard much about, it will be interesting to see how high the suicide rates are in all high altitude nations around the world.

Dominika R, interesting comment.

Beverly C, if religion brings you comfort, that is fine, but to blame suicide on the devil is being rather simplistic when you say: "However, Satan, (aka the devil) is also real & alive here on Earth! He's the one who causes all the chaos we see every day! Suicide is only one of the evils caused by this spiritual entity."

Somehow, it is an easy out to say that 'the devil made him/her do it," as there are far too many other things going on in the lives of each individual.

4:55AM PDT on Sep 28, 2014

I think there are many factors related to high risk of suicide. For example, the attitude towards people having depressed mood or displaying autodestructive behaviours is often very negative which makes them hide their symptoms and fear to talk about them to anyone, even a psychiatrist. People shouldn't be stigmatised for their problems. It makes them suffer in silence and be more likely to have suicidal thoughts as they feel they are left alone with all their troubles.

5:52AM PDT on Sep 26, 2014

Suicide is something teenagers often think about but I don't think the teenagers who plan to do a suicide will tell it to the others,and they probably feel preasure

7:26AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

Interesting article, thank you!

7:28AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014


6:03AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

The highest suicide rates are for young men between 19-24

In fact 19-24 year old men are more than 3 times as likely to commit suicide

With young men finding themselves bearing the brunt of every idiot who happened to be male before them and getting guilt by association (they are male therefore they are evil - not my idea but read some of the more strident misandrogynists and see what I am saying is what they say) no wonder

Young men are being marginalized for being male

2:17PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014


9:44AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

Thank you :)

7:50AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014


4:39AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

And the truth is, for many women it is absolute hell. Don't pretend that some women exaggerate, they…

Thanks for sharing

My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like …


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.