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State-specific, racial and ethnic heterogeneity in trends of firearm-related fatality rates in the USA from 2000 to 2010
  1. Bindu Kalesan1,2,
  2. Sowmya Vasan1,
  3. Matthew E Mobily2,
  4. Marcos D Villarreal2,
  5. Patrick Hlavacek2,
  6. Sheldon Teperman3,
  7. Jeffrey A Fagan2,4,
  8. Sandro Galea2
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
  3. 3Trauma and Critical Care Services, Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA
  4. 4Department of Law, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bindu Kalesan; bindu.kalesan{at}


Objectives To document overall, racial, ethnic and intent-specific spatiotemporal trends of firearm-related fatality rates (FRF rates) in the USA.

Design Cross-sectional study per year from 2000 to 2010.

Setting USA.

Participants Aggregate count of all people in the USA from 2000 to 2010.

Outcome measures Data from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System from 2000 to 2010 was used to determine annual FRF rates per 100 000 and by states, race, ethnicity and intent.

Results The average national 11-year FRF rate was 10.21/100 000, from 3.02 in Hawaii to 18.62 in Louisiana: 60% of states had higher than national rates and 41 states showed no temporal change. The average national FRF rates among African-Americans and Caucasians were 18.51 and 9.05/100 000 and among Hispanics and non-Hispanics were 7.13 and 10.13/100 000; Hispanics had a decreasing change of −0.18, p trend<0.0001. In states with increasing trends (Florida and Massachusetts), Caucasians and non-Hispanics drove the rise; while in states with decreasing trends (California, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, New York, Illinois, Maryland), Hispanics and African-Americans drove the fall. The average national FRF rates due to homicides (4.1/100 000) and suicides (5.8/100 000) remained constant, but varied between states.

Conclusions Endemic national FRF rates mask a wide variation in time trends between states. FRF rates were twice as high in African-Americans than Caucasians but decreased among Hispanics. Efforts to identify state-specific best practices can contribute to changes in national FRF rates that remain high.


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