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Suicide Claims One Million Lives a Year: Study

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Each year, about one million people commit suicide, which accounts for 1.5 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to researchers who also found that suicide rates vary greatly between countries and regions of the world.

The world average is 15 suicides per 100,000 people, but some countries are well above that level. For example, Lithuania's suicide rate is almost 40 per 100,000 people, according to the study by Keith Hawton of Oxford University and Kees van Heeringen of University Hospital in Gent, Belgium, Agence France Presse reported.

Other countries with suicide rates of 20 per 100,000 or higher include Finland, Latvia, Hungary, China, Japan and Kazakhstan. Suicide causes 3.6 percent of all deaths in China, which accounts for 30 percent of suicides worldwide. That's far above China's proportion of the global population.

The United States, Canada and Australia are just below the global average of 15 suicides per 100,000, while rates in Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Iran and Egypt are below five per 100,000, AFP reported.

The study was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

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