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In Friday’s issue of The Tech, Chris Wren G, questioned an article about suicide trends at MIT [“MIT Suicides Reflect National Trends,” Feb. 18]. In his letter, Wren questioned the relationship of MIT’s suicide rate to that of the general population. Here the author, Katharyn Jeffreys, responds:

The overall suicide rate for MIT students (undergraduate and graduate) fell below the national average in the 1990s after being above it in the preceding decades. However, the undergraduate suicide rate remains well above the national average for the same age demographic. During the period from 1964 to the present the national average was 11.7 suicides per 100,000 student years which was lower than that for MIT undergraduates at 21.2 and MIT as a whole, which had 14.6 suicides per 100,000 student years. In the past five years, the national average was 12.0 suicides per 100,000 student years, higher than the gross MIT average of 10.1 per 100,000 student years, but much lower than the MIT undergraduate suicide rate of 18.1 per 100,000 student years.