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Manual Laborers More Likely to Commit Suicide, Study Shows

Jul 03, 2016 11:06 PM EDT

A new federal study revealed that manual laborers in the United States who often work in isolation and have unsteady employment are more likely to commit suicide.

The study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests that people working in the farming, fishing and forestry industries had a suicide rate of 84.5 per 100,000, more than 10 times higher than the 7.5 per 100,000 suicide rate of people working in education.

The result of the study varied on male and female. Men working in farming, fishing and forestry have the highest suicide rate with 90.5 per 100,000, while women working in protective service occupation, such as law enforcement and fire fighting, have the highest suicide rate with 14.1 per 100,000.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the data of 12,312 suicides in 2012, which consisted of 9,509 (77.2%) males and 2,801 (22.8%) females.

According to the report from CBS News, there are numerous factors that should be considered to develop risk factors for each occupation. However, occupational groups with the highest suicide rate might be at risk due to job-related isolation and demands, stressful work environments, and work-home imbalance, as well as socioeconomic inequities, including lower income, lower education level, and lack of access to health services.

Previous studies suggests that the chronic exposure of farmers to pesticide might be also playing a part in the higher suicide risk in the occupation due to its potential effect in the neurological system and contributions to depressive symptoms.

There have been more than 40,000 reported cases of suicide in 2012, making it the 10th leading reported cause of death for persons over 16 years old. The suicide rate in 2012 has reached 16.1 per 100,000, increasing by 21.1 percent from 13.3 per 100,000 in 2010.

Suicide can not only affect those people who are closed to the deceased, but also the economy. CDC estimated that about $51 billion of combined medical and work costs are being lost due to suicide.

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