Rise in number dying by suicide

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The Independent Online

The number of people dying by suicide every year in the UK has gone up slightly after a decade in which the rate has fallen, according to the latest figures released today.

In 2008, 5,706 people over the age of 15 took their own lives.



This compares with 5,377 in 2007.



This is the first rise in the annual rate since there was a sharp increase between 1997 and 1998.



The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), continue to show a marked difference in the number of men and women who die by suicide.



In 2008 there were 17.7 suicides per 100,000 men with 5.4 per 100,000 women.



The group with the highest rates continue to be men aged between 15 and 44. Since 2004 the highest suicide rates among women have been in the 45-74 age group.



The statistics show some variations within England, with the North having the highest rates of male suicide.



But in Wales 2008 saw the lowest rate since 1991 with 266 deaths, although the ONS pointed out the Welsh figures have remained broadly steady in the period from 1991-2008.

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