Lethality of Suicide Method
Case Fatality Ratio by Method of Self-Harm, United States, 2001
The table below illustrates the significantly higher likelihood of death in a suicide attempt using a firearm versus other methods. The “Percent Fatal” column shows the suicide “case fatality rate”: of those who attempt suicide using a given method, the percent who die in that attempt.
This table covers all U.S. suicide deaths in 2001 and estimated visits to the emergency department (ED) for nonfatal self-harm (based on a nationally-representative sample of emergency departments). ”Case Fatality Ratio” (% fatal) is the proportion of cases recorded in a year that are fatal. The ED estimate overstates ED-treated suicide attempts because non-suicidal self-harm cannot be disaggregated from actual suicide attempts; at the same time, it underestimates nonfatal suicide attempts since many suicide attempts do not result in care.
Source: Vyrostek SB, Annest JL, Ryan GW. Surveillance for fatal and nonfatal injuries–United States, 2001. MMWR. 2004:53(SS07);1-57. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5307a1.htm