Year: 2011 Source: High Altitude Medicine & Biology, v.12, no.1, (2011), p.1-5 SIEC No: 20110153

This retrospective study examines 20 years of American county-specific mortality date, 1979-1998. County altitude was obtained from the US Geological Survey. Although there was a negative correlation between county altitude & all-cause mortality, there was a strong positive correlation between altitude & suicide rate. Mean altitude differed in the 50 counties with the highest suicide rates compared to those with the lowest rates. Controlling for percent of age greater than 50 years, percent male, percent white, median household income, & population density of each county, the higher-altitude counties had significantly higher suicide rates than the lower-altitude counties. Similar findings were observed for both firearm-related suicides & nonfirearm-related suicides. (34 refs.) JA

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