Middle-age Mental Patient Suicide Up

MANCHESTER, England, July 8 (UPI) — Suicide deaths fell sharply in young British mental patients but rose in those middle-aged, researchers said.

Study leader Louis Appleby of the University of Manchester in England and the government’s health and criminal justice czar found in-patient suicides have fallen to their lowest recorded figure and patient suicides have fallen most sharply among people in their early 20s. However, suicides among patients ages 45-64 are increasing in frequency.

The researchers looked at an increase in the rate of psychosis among immigrant populations, an increase in homicide in urban populations where psychotic illness is more prevalent, and an increase in drug or alcohol misuse as possible explanations for the rise in homicide rates up to 2005 by people with psychosis.

The number of homicides committed by people who had schizophrenia or who were psychotic at the time of offence had fallen in 2005 and 2006.

Appleby and colleagues said it is too early to conclude whether this drop was the start of a new downward trend, but they concluded that a previously reported rise in homicides by mentally ill people had not continued.

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