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Men Face Five to Seven Times Higher Rates of Firearm Deaths Than Women

Black men disproportionately impacted by firearm homicide, while White men most impacted by firearm suicide

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Men are disproportionately impacted by firearm-related deaths, with rates for both firearm-related homicide and suicide increasing from 2019 to 2020, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in PLOS ONE.

Lindsay J. Young and Henry Xiang, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., both from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System database for fatal injury and violence (1981 to 2020) to assess U.S. trends in firearm suicide and homicide mortality.

The researchers found that firearm homicide age-adjusted death rates were almost seven times higher for Black individuals than White individuals. There was a spike in firearm homicide deaths observed from 2019 to 2020, with Black people having the largest increase (39 percent). During the study period, White people had the highest rates of firearm suicide, with suicide death rates increasing between 2019 and 2020. The increases in years of potential life lost before age 75 years for both homicide and suicide between 2011 and 2020 most heavily impacted minority populations. Compared with women, men had a seven times higher rate of firearm suicide and a five times higher rate of firearm homicide.

“Our results suggest that prevention efforts should focus on specific demographic factors and articulate the urgency to mitigate firearm-related deaths in the United States,” the authors write.

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