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Research identifies suicide rate among young women veterans more than twice that of civilians

US FlagYoung women veterans are nearly three times as likely as civilians to commit suicide, according to new research published by researchers at OHSU and Portland State University (PSU).

The paper, “Self-Inflicted Deaths Among Women With U.S. Military Service: A Hidden Epidemic?” appears in the December 2010 issue of Psychiatric Services, a journal published by the American Psychiatric Association. This work is the first general population study of current suicide risk among women who’ve served in the U.S. military.

According to the data, female veterans aged 18 to 34 are at highest risk.

“Women veterans are more likely to complete suicide than nonveteran women,” said Bentson McFarland, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry. McFarland co-authored the paper with Mark Kaplan, DrPH, and Nathalie Huguet, PhD, of PSU. The complete OHSU press release is available online.

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