The overall death rate for youths between the ages of 10 and 24 declined between 1979 and 1988, but murders and suicide increased, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
In the group, murders increased by 6.7 percent and suicide by 7.9 percent, the CDC said last week. The greatest single increase over the period was in murders and suicides of children between the ages of 10 and 14. Suicides in that age group increased 75 percent and homicides increased 41.7 percent.
CDC conceded that the total number of children committing suicide and being murdered continued to be quite low _ fewer than 2 in every 100,000 children between 10 and 14. "But the trend is worrisome," said Dr. Lloyd Kolbe, director of CDC's division of adolescent and school health.
CDC said it has no complete data for years later than 1988.
Previous reports from CDC and other federal agencies have noted that much of the increase in homicide has occurred among minority ethnic groups in urban settings and has been traced, in part, to the rising tide of drug use.