Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2021), 51(3), 504-514. SIEC No: 20230052
Farmers are at higher risk of suicide than other occupations and the general population. The complex suicide risk factors have not been examined in a large, population-wide study across a significant time period. This observational study draws on existing data from the United States’ National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), including 140,523 farming- or non-farming-related suicide decedents between 2003 and 2016 from across 40 states. “Farming-related” decedents included 2,801 suicides. Farmers had higher odds of being male, older, less well-educated, and American Indian/Alaska Native. Farmers had higher odds of using firearms and—when farmers used a gun—higher odds of using a long-arm weapon. Farmers had lower odds of having a known mental health condition or job problem, and lower odds of having made a previous suicide attempt or leaving a suicide note. Findings highlight the complexity of suicide risk within the context of farming in the United States and reinforce the need for tailored prevention efforts; employing means restriction of firearms; and emphasizing that traditional risk factors may not be as common in the farming population.