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Why More White-Collar Workers Are at Risk for Suicide

Suicide became the leading cause of death by injury in 2009 for all classes of people in the U.S. There were 38,364 suicides in 2010, according to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than the 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes that year — but studies also show many white-collar workers are more likely than the rest of the population to take their own life. Among the professions with suicide rates 1.5 times or more than the rest of the population are doctors, dentists, veterinarians, financial workers, lawyers, and engineers, according to the CDC National Occupational Mortality Surveillance Database.

The data do not link occupation to suicide or even say whether suicide was work-related, just that people who died by suicide happened to have a certain occupation, says NuraSadeghpour, a spokeswoman for the CDC.

Although suicide rates differ across professions ethnicity and gender, white men working in finance are in one of the professions listed above that are more likely to die by suicide than the rest of the population.

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