PARIS - The 2008 financial crisis that devastated many Western economies also reaped a heavy toll in suicides among men, a study published on Tuesday suggests.
Health researchers analysed data for suicides among people aged over 15 in 54 countries, comparing rates before and after the crash.
In 2009, there were 4,884 more suicides compared with the normal trend, they said.
Suicide numbers in 2009 were 4.2 per cent higher in 27 European countries and 6.4 per cent higher in 18 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The benchmark is the suicide trend for 2000-2007, extrapolated to 2009.
The increases occurred among men, rising 3.3 per cent in 2009 compared with this trend, says the study, published online by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Among European men, there was an 11.7 per cent rise in suicides in the 15-24 age group.
In the Americas, the biggest increase was among men aged 45-64, which saw a rise of 5.2 per cent.
Among women, though, there was an overall decline of 0.5 per cent in 2009 compared with what would have been expected if the crisis had not occurred.