Suicide has fallen globally by more than a third since 1990, according to a far-reaching analysis highlighting deep differences in the number of men and women taking their own lives.
In the results published in the BMJ journal on Thursday, a study estimates that 817,000 people were killed in 2016 – a slight increase of 6.7% since 1990.
But as the global population has grown over the last three decades , the team at Global Burden of Disease – a project that tracks all known causes of death for land – found out that suicide rate adjusted for age and population size fell from 16.6 to 11.2 deaths per year. 100,000 people, a decrease of 32.7%.
"Suicide is considered a preventable cause of death, and this study shows that we must continue in our efforts for suicide prevention," says Heather Orpana, researcher at Canada's Public Health Agency and a study partner.
"With additional efforts we cou I take further reductions in suicide mortality."
The World Health Organization lists suicide as a critical public health problem and estimates that at least 800,000 people are killed each year.
The global analysis of disease analyzes carried out annually by the Institute for Health and Metrics Evaluation, a thin tank partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, estimates the mortality of cause, location, age and sex extrapolated from hundreds of data sources.
Although the general downward trend was satisfied, the team behind Thursday's paper was warned that suicide in several regions of the world was still one of the leading causes of this year's loss.
In 2016, 34.6 million years of life were lost globally from suicide – that is, the age at which suicide death occurs in relation to the average life expectancy of a given region or nation.
Moreover, men were more likely to take their own lives than women in all regions and age groups, except for 15-19 year olds, although the analysis did not speculate why.
"Mortality rates were generally higher for men, but there was great variation between men and women depending on age and even the country," Orpana told AFP.
Globally, men were violently at all women for suicide suffering 15.6 deaths per year. 100,000 compared to 7.0 for women.
The study showed that overall global mortality, including all causes of death, decreased by more than 30% since 1990, often due to fewer people living in absolute poverty and better access to health care.
The researchers highlighted large variations in suicide trends from country to country. In China, the average suicide rate fell 64.1% since 1990, while in places such as the Zimbabwe rate nearly doubled over the same period.
In the United Kingdom, Samaritans can be contacted at 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline 13 11 14. Other international suicide assistants can be found at www.befrienders.org.