In Summary

  • Suicide, homicide, sexual assaults and war accounted for 208,179 deaths in 2015 in the Eastern Mediterranean region, said a spokesman for the University of Washington, which issued a series of 15 reports published in the International Journal of Public Health.
  • In 2015, nearly 30,000 people in the region committed suicide that year, and another 35,000 died from interpersonal violence.
  • Researchers also found a "sharp increase" in mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Suicide and murder are rising fast in the Middle East and nearby regions that are already grappling with war and conflict, creating a "lost generation," particularly among men, researchers said Monday.

Suicide, homicide, sexual assaults and war accounted for 208,179 deaths in 2015 in the Eastern Mediterranean region, said a spokesman for the University of Washington, which issued a series of 15 reports published in the International Journal of Public Health.

War took some 144,000 of those lives in a part of the world that is home to 600 million people and includes 22 nations such as Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.

The rise in suicides and interpersonal violence in the Eastern Mediterranean has far outpaced the rest of the world over the past quarter century, said one of the findings.

SHARP INCREASE IN MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS

In 2015, nearly 30,000 people in the region committed suicide that year, and another 35,000 died from interpersonal violence, "representing increases of 100 percent and 152 percent, respectively, over the past 25 years," it said.

"In other parts of the world during the same period, the number of deaths from suicide increased 19 percent and interpersonal violence by 12 percent."

Researchers also found a "sharp increase" in mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"Intractable and endemic violence is creating a lost generation of children and young adults," said lead author Ali Mokdad, director for Middle Eastern Initiatives at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

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