Causes of Death: Suicide

Table 2 listed leading causes of death by age for Alaska Natives, and included suicide as one of the leading causes of death for this population. However, other sources indicate that, although Alaska’s suicide rate is alarmingly high in younger age groups, the suicide rates in elder Alaska Natives and American Indians are considerably lower than the 55 and over population of U.S. all races or White, especially for males (IHS, 1998-99).

During the years 1996 – 2000, there were 30 reported suicide attempts in Alaska Natives 55 years of age and older. Of those, the greatest number (22) were female. In the majority of cases (again 22), the method was contributed to a drug overdose, either with prescription or over the counter medications.