Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide rates have been reported to be particularly high in professional, managerial, and executive groups. We reviewed English language epidemiological studies on suicide and occupation published since 1982. Some studies suggest that workers in a number of occupations, including chemistry, farming, and law enforcement, may have elevated suicide rates. The weight of current evidence supports the conclusion that both male and female physicians have elevated rates of suicide, with females at particularly high risk. Elevated rates of suicide in a particular occupational group may result from a complex interaction between job factors such as work stress and access to means and other risk factors such as age and presence of a mental disorder.
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