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Racial Differences in Statewide Suicide Mortality Trends in Maryland During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Mental health experts have predicted changing patterns of suicidality during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but national mortality data remain unavailable.1 African American individuals are disproportionately impacted by the virologic and socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19, with probable implications for mental health. We hypothesized rising suicide mortality among Black residents of Maryland during COVID-19 crisis periods.2 Characterizing these trends may inform policy with implications for population health.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: October 20, 2020.

Corresponding Author: Paul Sasha Nestadt, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 600 N Wolfe St, Meyer 114, Baltimore, MD 21287 (pnestadt@jhmi.edu).

Published Online: December 16, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.3938

Author Contributions: Mr Bray and Dr Nestadt had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Bray, Radhakrishnan, Cubbage, Southall, Nestadt.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Bray, Daneshvari, Radhakrishnan, Cubbage, Eagle, Nestadt.

Drafting of the manuscript: Bray, Daneshvari, Cubbage, Southall, Nestadt.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Bray, Daneshvari, Radhakrishnan, Cubbage, Eagle, Nestadt.

Statistical analysis: Bray, Daneshvari, Eagle.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Radhakrishnan, Cubbage, Eagle, Nestadt.

Supervision: Cubbage, Nestadt.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: Dr Nestadt is supported by the James Wah Fund for Mood Disorders and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funding sources had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Meeting Presentation: This paper was presented at the Population Mental Health State of Science Annual Conference; October 12, 2020; Aurora, Colorado.

References
1.
Reger  MA , Stanley  IH , Joiner  TE .  Suicide mortality and coronavirus disease 2019—a perfect storm?   JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1060PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
Yancy  CW .  COVID-19 and African Americans.   JAMA. 2020;323(19):1891-1892. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6548PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
US Census Bureau. QuickFacts: Maryland. Accessed September 13, 2020. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/MD/BZA115218
4.
Egede  LE , Walker  RJ .  Structural racism, social risk factors, and COVID-19—a dangerous convergence for Black Americans.   N Engl J Med. 2020;383(12):e77. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2023616PubMedGoogle Scholar
5.
Lau  H , Khosrawipour  V , Kocbach  P ,  et al.  The positive impact of lockdown in Wuhan on containing the COVID-19 outbreak in China.   J Travel Med. 2020;27(3):1-7. doi:10.1093/jtm/taaa037PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Norström  T , Grönqvist  H .  The great recession, unemployment and suicide.   J Epidemiol Community Health. 2015;69(2):110-116. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204602PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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