22 U.S. Veterans Kill Themselves Each Day

Suicide is the leading cause of death among active duty US soldiers. And it's widely known that suicide is a big problem for veterans, too—but solid statistics have been hard to come by. Now, a new study says that, yes, suicide is a problem for veterans. And for everyone else.

New figures from a VA researcher paint an interesting and somewhat counterintuitive picture of the military veteran suicide problem. Among the findings, via the Washington Post:

  • Twenty two veterans kill themselves each day.
  • "More than two-thirds of the veterans who commit suicide are 50 or older," meaning that most of them are veterans of wars other than the latest Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
  • At the same time, suicide as a whole is increasing in the US, up 11% between 2007-2010. Non-veteran men in their 50s have a suicide rate that's about the same as veteran men in their 50s.
  • Then again, among more recent veterans: "those who served in recent conflicts are 30 percent to 200 percent more likely to commit suicide than their ­non-veteran peers."
So there is too much suicide among veterans, and, it seems, among non-veterans. More studies are promised to be forthcoming.

[WaPo. Photo: AP]