United States army suicide rates have historically decreased during wartime. But a new study of U.S. records suggests that trend appears to have changed direction, with rates rising in recent years.
Researchers examined nearly 200 years of U.S. army records and other information. They found that, in earlier times, there was a decrease in suicide rates among army soldiers during and just after wars. However, the researchers report that the rate has risen considerably since 2004.
Their report appeared in JAMA Network Open, a publication of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers cannot explain the change – or the decrease in earlier periods during wartime. But they believe documenting the trends might lead to a better understanding of the underlying causes of military suicides.