Mortality Down but Health Care Costs Up From Gun Violence
Head and neck, vascular, gastrointestinal surgery independently linked to high cost tertile designation
TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 2005 to 2016, there was a decrease in gunshot wound (GSW) mortality, accompanied by increasing mean costs, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Vishal Dobaria, from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues identified adults admitted with a diagnosis of GSW requiring operative intervention using the 2005 to 2016 National Inpatient Sample. The extent of traumatic injuries was quantified using a validated prediction tool, the International Classification of Diseases Injury Severity Score (ICISS). Factors associated with mortality and high cost tertile (HCT) were identified.
The researchers found that 262,098 admissions met inclusion criteria during the study period, with annual frequency increasing significantly and ICISS scores decreasing. Mortality declined from 8.6 to 7.6 percent, while mean costs increased ($25,900 to $33,000). Head and neck, vascular, and gastrointestinal operations were independently associated with HCT designation compared with patients not undergoing these operations after adjustment for patient and hospital characteristics (adjusted odds ratios, 31.2, 24.5, and 27.8, respectively).
"Taken together, our findings suggest that gun violence has increased in numbers, at least for the sector that meets surgical criteria, and that these injuries result in a substantial financial burden in addition to the obvious psychosocial burden and other downstream effects," a coauthor said in a statement.