Seniors are most likely to commit suicide, Health Ministry finds

Divorced fathers, Ethiopian immigrants, are also at heightened risk. And why are Jews more likely to commit suicide than Arabs?

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Chana Roberts,

Men are more likely to hang themselves than women
Men are more likely to hang themselves than women
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A Health Ministry report published on Monday showed senior citizens over the age of 75 are the most likely of any group to commit suicide.

Most of these suicides - 21 per 100,000 - were men, but females over age 75 were more likely to commit suicide as well, with numbers reaching 4.6 per 100,000, nearly double the rate of their 25-44 year old counterparts.

The number of attempted suicides remained stable between the years 2011-2016, with Arab women remaining the group most likely to attempt suicide.

In general, women are more likely than men to attempt suicide, perhaps because females usually overdose on pills - allowing for emergency room treatment - while males tend to hang or shoot themselves.

Out of the 382 suicide cases in 2014, 294 were men and only 88 were women. Since 2001, the number of women suicides has remained relatively stable, while the number of male suicides saw peaks and valleys, spiking in 2010 and again in 2012.

Meanwhile, Jews were 2.4 times more likely to take their own lives than Arabs, Russian immigrants were twice as likely as other Jews to take their own lives, and Ethiopian immigrants were the most likely to take their own lives, with a suicide rate four times higher than average.

And while the number of young suicides has dropped significantly since 2001 (from 7.3 per 100,000 people to 2.7 per 100,000), the number of child suicides under age 15 rose from just 12 between the years of 2000-2004 to 24 ten years later (2010-2014). This, despite the fact that suicides of those between 15-18 years old dropped by nearly half, and suicides of those between 19-24 years old dropped significantly as well.

When suicides are considered by geographic location, southern Israel takes the cake with 8.1 suicides per 100,000. A close second is Tel Aviv, with 7.9 suicides per 100,000, and Haifa comes in third, with 7,0 suicides per 100,000.

In Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, the number of suicides rose, with the more drastic rise being in Jerusalem itself. However, both areas are still below the national average.

Marital status has an influence as well: The Health Ministry's recent report highlighted the fact that married individuals are less likely than singles or divorcees to take their own lives. And a full third of divorced men who committed suicide were fathers to children under the age of 18.

Last year, divorced men committed suicide nine times more often than their married counterparts.








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