Health | local

Study Finds Women Vets More Likely To Commit Suicide

OPB | Dec. 1, 2010 8:14 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:06 a.m. | Portland, OR

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Young women veterans are nearly three times more likely to commit suicide than non-military women. 

Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University published that finding Wednesday.

The research is the first general population study of suicide risk among women who’ve served in the U.S. military.

It was funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and it looked at data from 16 states.

Co-author, Mark Kaplan,says the results should be a call-to-action.

Mark Kaplan: “I think there is a problem here that hasn’t been addressed by clinicians nor policy makers.”

For example, Kaplan says, young women veterans are 56 percent more likely to be successful in a suicide attempt than their civilian peers — largely because they choose to use a gun, rather than pills or another method.

The older the veteran grows, the less likely she is to take her own life.

The study appears in the December issue of Psychiatric Services.

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