Deaths from self-injury, a category that includes drug and alcohol use and committing suicide, has surpassed diabetes as the seventh-leading cause in the U.S., a study has shown.
Using data from 2016, the researchers showed that 29.1 people per 100,000 died from self-injury compared with 24.8 per 100,000 from diabetes.
While the occurrence of self-injury-related deaths outpaced those due to diabetes, targeted prevention efforts lag behind. As a result, the authors are urging the public and health care providers to start thinking about different types of self injuries as being related when it comes to public health and prevention efforts.
“We’re so entrenched in separating suicide from drug overdose or alcohol poisoning deaths that people can’t wrap their heads around the idea that they are related,” Hilary S. Connery, M.D., Ph.D., a co-author of the study and the clinical director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital, said in a press release. “It is time to end the siloed approach to prevention.”