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Age Trends And State Disparities In Firearm-Related Suicide In The US, 1999-2020

NCJ Number
Health Affairs Volume: 42 Issue: 11 Dated: NOV 2023 Pages: 1551-1558
Date Published
November 2023
8 pages

In this study covering 1999-2020, researchers analyzed age trends and state disparities in firearm-related suicides.


Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, the authors of this paper analyzed trends in firearm suicide across the life course and found stable trends in firearm suicide rates across the life course, although with higher overall rates across all age groups in 2015–20 versus in 1999–2014. The study compared age-related trends over time (2015–20 versus 1999–2014) and stratified by differences in state firearm policy environments. Ages 14–16 was the only age group with an accelerating life-course trend in firearm suicide rates in 2015–20 versus in 1999–2014. The state policy environment was associated with significant differences in firearm suicide, with an average of 4.62 more deaths per 100,000 people per year in states with less- versus more-strict environments. This was in contrast to non-firearm suicides, for which researchers observed no consistent differences between states. The largest overall differences in firearm suicide between states occurred in adulthood through middle age. These findings can inform further research on health care–based approaches to reducing firearm suicide, such as health care screening for firearm ownership, screening for suicide risk among firearm owners, and motivational interviewing to promote safe firearm storage. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: November 1, 2023