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Suicides hit record high in 1998

Date Posted: 1999-06-19

The nationís faltering economy is being seen as a likely cause for a dramatic rise in suicides throughout the country in 1998, a Health and Welfare Ministry report released Friday shows. Of the 31,724 suicides recorded, men in particular were hardest hit by the recession with more than 20,000 suicides.

The report highlights the costly consequences of an economy under threat, particularly so for middle-aged men. Figures show 22,338 men committed suicide, of which a large percentage were middle-aged men over 50 years of age, possible casualties from bankrupt companies or firms forced to lay-off workers from positions once considered as life-time employment. The figure marks the first time suicides by men have exceeded 20,000.

Suicide also claimed the lives of 9,396 women, a dramatic and disturbing 25 percent increase from 1997 figures.

Overall, the 1998 figures represent a 35 percent increase over the year before.

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