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127 Circumstances associated with suicides among American Indian/Alaska Native Persons — NVDRS, 2015–2020
  1. Asha Ivey-Stephenson1,
  2. Eva Trinh1,
  3. Hong Zhou1,
  4. Laura Welder1,
  5. Pamela End of Horn2,
  6. Deborah Stone1,
  7. Katherine Fowler1
  1. 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, United States
  2. 2Indian Health Services, United States


Background Suicide disproportionately affects American Indians/Alaska Native persons (AI/AN), and in 2020 non-Hispanic AI/AN persons had the highest rate of suicide (27.7 per 100,000); nearly double their rate in 2000.

Aim These data will examine associated characteristics and circumstances of suicide between AI/AN and non-AI/AN populations to inform prevention.

Methods National Violent Death Reporting System (2015–2020) data will be used to compare suicide characteristics and circumstances associated with suicide between AI/AN and non-AI/AN persons. Data through 2019 include 42 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico (2020 to be added prior to presentation). Data were abstracted from death certificates, and law enforcement/medical examiner/coroner reports.

Results Preliminary results indicate available circumstance information was known for 85.9% of AI/AN persons versus 90.4% of non-AI/AN persons. Intimate partner problems were a common precipitating circumstance for both AI/AN (37.3%) and non-AI/AN persons (26.9%), but with significantly greater odds among AI/AN persons (aOR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.3–1.6). Additionally, AI/AN persons had 1.6 (95% CI = 1.3–2.0) times greater odds of the suicide of a friend or family member affecting their death, compared to non-AI/AN persons. Additional results highlighting similarities/differences in circumstances and other characteristics (e.g., method, veteran status) will be presented.

Outcomes The high rate of suicide and higher odds of experiencing various suicide circumstances among AI/AN persons (compared to non-AI/AN persons) highlight some of the inequities faced by this population. This study highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention that incorporates culturally inclusive strategies based on the best available evidence.

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