What are the racial predilections for depression and suicide?

Updated: Sep 02, 2020
  • Author: Louise B Andrew, MD, JD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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African Americans and Mexican Americans are least likely to receive any care, let alone adequate care, for depression. [2]

The BRFSS study by the CDC noted that non-Hispanic blacks (4%), Hispanics (4%), and non-Hispanic persons of other races (4.3%) were significantly more likely to report major depression than non-Hispanic whites (3.1%). [18]

Suicide rates among American Indian and Alaskan natives aged 15-34 years are almost twice the national average for this age range. Hispanic females make significantly more suicide attempts than their male or non-Hispanic counterparts.

The risk of suicide is increased by concurrent illness, alcohol and drug abuse, access to lethal means, hopelessness, pessimism, isolation, and impulsivity, and the risk is reduced by help-seeking behavior, access to psychiatric treatment, and availability of family and other social supports.

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