Firearm Homicide Rates Down from 2006-2007 to 2009-2010

Rate in large metropolitan areas drove national decrease but still remained above national average

FRIDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In 2009 to 2010, in large metropolitan areas, the firearm homicide rate decreased overall but remained above the national average, while firearm suicide rates increased in large metropolitan areas and nationally, according to a study published in the Aug. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Scott R. Kegler, Ph.D., and James A. Mercy, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, used data from the National Vital Statistics System and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate firearm homicide and suicide rates for the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for 2009 to 2010. Comparison statistics were recalculated from a previous report for 2006 to 2007.

According to the report, for large MSAs collectively, the firearm homicide rate remained above the national rate during 2009 to 2010; however, the rate decreased in more than 75 percent of these MSAs from 2006 to 2007, which largely accounted for a national decline. In many of these MSAs, during 2009 to 2010 the firearm homicide rate for 10- to 19-year-olds exceeded the all-ages rate, similar to the earlier period. The firearm suicide rate for large MSAs collectively remained below the national rate, but an increased rate was observed among nearly 75 percent of MSAs, paralleling an increased national rate. During both periods, suicide rates were low among those aged 10 to 19 years compared with all-ages rates.

"These patterns can inform the development and monitoring of strategies directed at reducing firearm-related violence," the authors write.

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