A story on CBS news claims that military veterans commit suicide at a much higher rate than the general population. However, blogger Bill Sweetman argues that the report is flawed. It fails to account for the fact that the vast majority of veterans are men, who have a higher suicide rate than average. Most veterans are also young, and young people commit suicide far more often than older people. Once you account for these two factors, the supposed difference in veterans’ suicide rates disappears.

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Thor's picture
Thor says:

I think I'd hitch my wagon to CBS's numbers on this. In a previous job I had for a senior citizen newspaper, we did an investigation in to suicide rates and found just the opposite of what Sweetman says. The highest suicide rate is actually among older people, but their suicides are easily dismissed off on other kinds of health problems. Suicides among young people get a lot more attention because they're harder to explain away through other means. They're more emotionally dramatic and get a lot more attention. The real tragedy in this, I think, is that right now it's statistically more lethal to be a veteran back home from the Mideast than to be a soldier fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. And I don't hear anybody in a position of power talking about it.

posted on Sun, 11/25/2007 - 2:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What he said.

posted on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 9:03pm

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