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Farming, forestry top list of jobs most linked to suicide

A US study has listed farmers and foresters among the people most likely to take their own life.


The research carried out by America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that those who work in farming, fishing, and forestry are the top most likely to commit suicide, compared to those in other jobs.

Published last week, the data was gathered from 17 US states in 2012. Occupational codes were applied to 12,312 suicide cases from the National Violent Death Reporting System.

Rates for each profession were calculated by the number of suicides per 100,000 population. For farming, fishing and forestry, the rating stands at 84.5.

Other job sectors ranked below farming, fishing and forestry were construction and extraction; installation, maintenance and repair; production; and architecture (with a rate of 32.2).

The group that encompassed arts, design, entertainment, sports and media was seventh, with a rate of 24.3.

The lowest rate of suicide, 7.5, was found in the education, training and library occupational group.

Approximately 40,000 suicides were reported in the United States during 2012 – the 10th leading cause of death among people aged 16 and over.

“Understanding suicides by occupational group provides an opportunity for prevention, but such data have not been reported recently for a broad population or examined by sex and occupation classification,” said the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report acknowledges that the findings are subject to limitations, such as human and computer errors in categorisation.

However, the researchers hope that forthcoming data, gathered in 2014 from across 32 states, might provide more representative findings and allow them to examine occupational trends over time.

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