BU Study: Black Women Face Highest Risk Of Suicide


Photo: STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images

BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Researchers at Boston University are revealing the findings of a new study that looked at a connection between race, income, and suicide in women.

“Our findings were surprising because most studies usually show that the rate of suicide was higher in White women in the U.S. However, when we begin to look at the intersection of race and income, a different picture begins to emerge,” explained corresponding author Temitope Ogundare, MD, MPH, clinical instructor of psychiatry at the School.

The study found Black women between the ages of 18-65 years old have the highest risk for suicide, regardless of their socioeconomic status. What's more Black women in the highest income bracket still had a 20 percent higher risk of committing suicide, to that of White women in the lowest income bracket.

Researchers at Boston University's Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and Howard University looked at the National Inpatient Sample database, between 2003-2015, making note of several different demographics including insurance type, smoking status, and exposure to domestic violence, on women who have been hospitalized after a suicide attempt.

“In public health, we want to target interventions for the most vulnerable population. In addition, results from this model continue to highlight racial disparities in health outcomes and the need to approach public health interventions through a racial justice lens,” said Ogundare, who also is a psychiatric resident at Boston Medical Center.

Next, Ogendare believes a number of other factors including interventions at helping women experiencing domestic violence, lack of universal health coverage, and racial discrimination must all play a part in designing a modern suicide prevention initiative.

Suicide remains the second leading cause of death in the United States for those between the ages of 10-34. In 2020, more than 1.2 million over the age of 18 attempted to take their own lives.

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