A new report from the ASU Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety and the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System details suicides in Arizona, examining the characteristics of the victims and the circumstances of their deaths.

ASU researchers analyzed all suicides in Arizona for the year 2016. Men were more than three times as likely to commit suicide than women, with rates of 29.5 per 100,000 population compared to 8.3, respectively. Overall, a total of 985 men took their own lives in 2016 compared to 280 women. The study found that males aged 75 years or older had the highest suicide rates at 50.8 per 100,000 population, followed by those aged 45-54 years, at 40.8 suicides per 100,000 population. For women, the highest risk age group were those aged 55-64 years, at 15.6, followed by those aged 45-54 years, at 13.2 per 100,000.

The majority of people who committed suicide used a firearm (n=759, 60.0%), followed by hangings or suffocations (n=287, 22.7%) and poisonings (n=159, 12.6%). More than a third (35.0%) had a documented alcohol or other substance abuse problem. Recent intimate partner problems and physical health problems were also common, at 22.7% and 24.3%, respectively.

The ASU Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety prepared the report. Information was collected from state health department data, medical examiner reports and law enforcement agencies.

Arizona began participating in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System in 2015. Analysis of violent death data can help guide state and local violence prevention practitioners improve prevention programs, policies, and practices.

For more information on the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System, please visit https://cvpcs.asu.edu/projects/arizona-violent-death-reporting-system.