Two Simultaneous Increases Observed both in Youth Suicide Rates and Antidepressant Sales Amounts in Japan, 2002-2009: A Possible Link between Youth Suicides and Uses of Antidepressants
Keywords:antidepressant, SSRI, suicide, CYP2D6, age dependency
Objective A relation between increases of sales amounts of antidepressants and changes in suicide rates by age brackets was investigated in Japan.
Participants and Methods Changes of national suicide rates by age brackets from 1994 to 2009 published by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare Japan were compared with increases of total sales amounts of antidepressants in Japan from 1994 to 2010 reported by Cima Science Journal, Inc.
Results The sales amounts of antidepressants significantly increased from 20 billion yen to 110 billion yen in the period of 2002-2010. Increases of suicide rates coincided in younger generation, especially in 20-29 years old. The annual suicide rates for men in the age bracket of 20-24 years old increased from 21.3 to 29.9 in 2002-2009. While significant decreases of suicide rates coincided in older generations in the same period. These changes in suicide rates are strongly age-specific.
Conclusion Because it has been reported that the risk of suicidality associated with antidepressants is strongly age dependent, the significant increases of sales amounts of newer antidepressants probably associated with both the simultaneous suicide rates up in the younger and down in the older age groups in the period of 2002-2009 in Japan.
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