New Study on Suicide Among College Athletes

May 22, 2015

The suicide rate among National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes is lower than that of college-aged members of the general and collegiate populations, a new study found. Male athletes and football players, the study concluded, had significantly higher rates of suicide than female athletes.

The authors of the study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Sports Health, examined nine years of NCAA data on athlete deaths and found that suicide accounted for 35 of the 477 deaths the NCAA recorded between 2003 and 2012.

The annual rate of suicide for male athletes was 1.35 per 100,000, and for female athletes it was 0.37 per 100,000. Among black athletes, the annual rate was 1.22 per 100,000. Among white athletes, the rate was 0.87 per 100,000 students. The highest rate of suicide occurred in football, with a rate of 2.25 instances of suicide per 100,000 athletes.

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