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14 January 2011

More suicides at higher altitudes

Twenty years of mortality data from counties across the United States led to the striking discovery that living at higher altitudes may be a risk factor for suicide.

Twenty years of mortality data from counties across the United States led to the striking discovery that living at higher altitudes may be a risk factor for suicide, according to a provocative study published in High Altitude Medicine & Biology.

The positive correlation between elevation and suicide risk was present even when the authors controlled for known suicide risk factors, such as older age, male sex, white race, and low income. Interestingly, the authors determined that the increased suicide rates at higher altitudes are not part of a broader association between mortality from all causes and living at higher elevations. In fact, they report a significantly lower overall mortality rate at higher altitudes.

 
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