West Virginia University researchers have found that suicide rates are higher among some Medicaid-insured youth than those with private insurance.
The researchers analyzed suicide trends among 10-to-18-year-olds in 16 states. They found that the suicide rate for Medicaid-insured youth ages 10-to-14 of both sexes was higher than in non-Medicaid youth.
Lead researcher Dr. John Campo said the difference may be because kids in the Medicaid population may be exposed to more trauma than wealthier peers. Trauma is associated with suicide risk.
Preventing suicide attempts in this population may start with screening Medicaid enrollees for depression and impulse-control problems.
The data was pulled from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Database that tracks violent death rates in 32 states – West Virginia and Kentucky are not among them, but Ohio and Virginia are.
The study was published this month in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.