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Evaluation of Suicides Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a state of emergency regarding child and adolescent mental health.1 During the COVID-19 pandemic, US adolescents have been affected by the widespread loss of primary caregivers. Suicide-risk screenings have yielded higher positive rates than during the prepandemic period2; thus, we sought to measure suicide-related mortality in this population.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: December 7, 2021.

Published Online: April 25, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0515

Corresponding Authors: Marie-Laure Charpignon, MSc, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, 50 Ames St, Cambridge, MA 02142 (mcharpig@mit.edu); Maimuna Shahnaz Majumder, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (maimuna.majumder@childrens.harvard.edu).

Author Contributions: Ms Charpignon and Mr Ontiveros 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. Ms Charpignon and Mr Ontiveros contributed equally to the manuscript. Drs Mandl and Majumder are senior authors.

Concept and design: Charpignon, Sundaresan, Puri, Mandl, Majumder.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Charpignon, Ontiveros, Sundaresan, Puri, Chandra, Majumder.

Drafting of the manuscript: All authors.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Charpignon, Ontiveros, Sundaresan, Puri, Chandra, Majumder.

Statistical analysis: Charpignon, Ontiveros, Sundaresan, Puri, Chandra.

Obtained funding: Majumder.

Supervision: Mandl, Majumder.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was supported by National Institutes of Health award T32HD040128 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences award KL2 TR002542 from the Harvard Catalyst of The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funders 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.

Additional Information: Representatives from the state departments of public health from which we obtained data directly via data use agreements reviewed the data analysis and validated the results of this study. We are bound by our data use agreements with the vital statistics division at each individual state department of health.

References
1.
American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital Association. AAP-AACAP-CHA Declaration of a National Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://www.aap.org/en/advocacy/child-and-adolescent-healthy-mental-development/aap-aacap-cha-declaration-of-a-national-emergency-in-child-and-adolescent-mental-health/
2.
Mayne  SL , Hannan  C , Davis  M ,  et al.  COVID-19 and adolescent depression and suicide risk screening outcomes.   Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2021051507. doi:10.1542/peds.2021-051507PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
World Health Organization. Adolescence: a period needing special attention. 2014. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://apps.who.int/adolescent/second-decade/section2/page1/recognizing-adolescence.html
4.
Rossen  LM , Branum  AM , Ahmad  FB , Sutton  PD , Anderson  RN .  Notes from the field: update on excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic - United States, January 26, 2020-February 27, 2021.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(15):570-571. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7015a4PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Curtin  SC , Hedegaard  H , Ahmad  FB . Provisional numbers and rates of suicide by month and demographic characteristics: United States, 2020. Vital Statistics Rapid Release; no 16. National Center for Health Statistics. November 2021. Accessed December 20, 2021. https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/110369
6.
Sheftall  AH , Vakil  F , Ruch  DA , Boyd  RC , Lindsey  MA , Bridge  JA .  Black youth suicide: investigation of current trends and precipitating circumstances.   J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2021;S0890-8567(21)01365-4. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2021.08.021PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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