Medicine: The Whys of Suicide

At a doctors' meeting in Louisville last week, Dr. Richard A. Kern of Philadelphia's Temple University reported the latest findings on suicide. Key facts:

¶ About 85% of the basic causes of suicide lie in mental disturbances and nothing else, less than 15% in organic disease. "And even here the mental factor tips the balance—it is not so often because of cancer, but because of indigestion that makes a man afraid he has cancer."

¶ The suicide rate for men rises steadily throughout life, but for women it levels off at age 50. More men than women kill themselves, and proportionately more...

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