The association of American veterinarians has a higher risk of suicide, a trend that has spread for more than three decades, according to a report released today by the Journal of the American Association of Veterinary Medicine (JAVMA).
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), analyzed data between 1979 and 2015 and found that, compared with the general population, veterinarians were 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide, while their colleagues male 2.1 times.
According to the survey, 75% of veterinarians who committed suicide during the period investigated practiced their profession in small clinics.
"The study helps us better see this complex issue in this profession and, with the information available, we can work together to reduce the number of suicides among veterinarians," said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield.
An earlier study by the Occupational Safety and Health Institute (NIOSH) determined that female veterinarians had a higher prevalence of suicide risk factors for suicidal thoughts and attempts.
For the most recent study, the NIOSH researchers analyzed the records of 11,620 veterinarians who died during the years 1979 to 2015, according to the CDC statement.
The data come from the American Association of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA) and the National Center for Health Statistics of the CDC.
They found that, as in the general population, the most common method of committing suicide among veterinarians was with firearms, followed by drug poisoning.
Although the details of the causes of the highest proportion of suicides among these professionals are not provided, the researchers point out that certain factors, such as long hours of work, pressure due to excessive workload, debt related to educational loans, and "poor" between staff and work may be affecting you.
"Collaboration among various professional representatives, such as professional associations, veterinary schools and suicide prevention experts, can contribute to the creation of a comprehensive and effective suicide prevention strategy in the profession," said NIOSH Director John. Howard
Efe collected a reaction from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), but did not get a response.
The organization issued a statement yesterday announcing that further efforts will be made to support the association in research, education, advocacy and animal welfare.
Currently, 60% of veterinarians in the United States are women. Of the 110,531 registered nationwide in 2017, 66,731 were women and 43,662 were men.