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India is the world's suicide hub

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Rohit Shishodia
Over the last more than two decades, more women committed suicide than men in India. This has been revealed in India Sate-Level Disease Burden Initiative Papers, released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on September 12, 2018.

The paper on suicides revealed that suicide rate among women was 2.1 times higher among women and 1.4 times higher among men in India than the global average in 2016.

India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25.3% in 1990 to 36.6% in 2016 among women, and from 18.7% to 24.3% among men. The report highlighted that 2,30,314 people committed suicide in India in 2016.

Suicide was the leading cause of death in India in 2016 for those aged 15-39 years. 71.2% of the suicide deaths among women and 57.7% among men were in this age group.

India had 18% of the global population in 2016, but accounted for 37% of the global suicide deaths among women and 24% among men. Most states had suicide death rate much higher than would be expected for their socio demographic level among women and men.

If the trends observed up to 2016 continue, the probability of India achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDR reduction target in 2030 is zero, and the majority of states with 81.3% of India’s population have less than 10% probability, three states have probability of 10.3-15.0% and six have a probability of 25.1-36.7%.

Prof Rakhi Dandona, Spokesperson for the findings, said that these time trend data provide guidance for suicide prevention in each state of India, which can be utilized to develop approaches suitable for each state within a national suicide prevention strategy in order to reduce suicide deaths across India.

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