ATLANTA (AP) -- The suicide rate for middle-aged Americans has climbed to its highest point in at least 25 years, in what's being described as an unrecognized tragedy.
One researcher says the age group is often overlooked. Suicide prevention programs tend to focus on teenagers, and many researchers only study suicide in the elderly.
The numbers in a new government report show suicides rose about 20 percent between 1999 and 2004 for Americans between 45 and 54. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that far outpace the increases for younger adults.
Experts don't know why middle-age suicides are on the rise.
The overall number of suicides is holding steady. Thirty-two thousand Americans take their own lives every year.