The recent global financial crisis led some 5,000 people in 54 countries to commit suicide, according to findings in the British Medical Journal released Thursday.

The research, conducted by universities in Honk Kong and England, found that the 2008 global economic crisis was to blame for the increased rates in Europe and the Americas, particularly by males in areas with high unemployment.

Data taken from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook helped Oxford, Bristol and Hong Kong University researchers to discover that the largest increase in suicide was among European men aged 15-24 and males in the Americas aged 45-64. There was no change in the female suicide rate in Europe and only a slight increase in the Americas.

In 2009, male suicide rates rose by 3.3 percent, predominantly in 27 European countries and 18 countries in the Americas.

The largest increase, 13.3 percent, came in new European Union member states, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

The United States and Canada showed an 8.9 percent increase, and Caribbean and Central American countries posted a 6.4 percent rise in male suicide rates, compared with a smaller increase in South American countries, the study found.