~7,400 Child Firearm-Related Injury Hospitalizations in 2009

Posted on Sun, Feb 02, 2014
~7,400 Child Firearm-Related Injury Hospitalizations in 2009

Hospitalization rate of 8.87 per 100,000 persons younger than 20 years; higher rate for males

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In 2009, there were 7,391 hospitalizations for firearm-related injury among U.S. children and adolescents, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in Pediatrics.

John M. Leventhal, M.D., from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined the national frequency of hospitalizations from firearm-related injuries in young people <20 years of age using data from the 2009 Kids' Inpatient Database. Injuries and their causes were categorized as assault, suicide attempt, unintentional, or undetermined based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, and external-cause-of injury codes.

The researchers found that there were 7,391 hospitalizations due to firearm-related injuries in 2009, with a hospitalization rate of 8.87 per 100,000 persons <20 years of age. Most hospitalizations (89.2 percent) occurred in males (rate of 15.22 per 100,000 for males; 1.93 per 100,000 for females). For black males, the rate was 44.77 per 100,000, which was more than 10 times that for white males. Those aged 15 to 19 years had the highest hospitalization rates (27.94). The most frequent cause of firearm-related hospitalizations was assaults (4,559 hospitalizations). While suicide attempts were the least frequent cause of hospitalization (270 hospitalizations), 35.1 percent of these suicide attempts resulted in death compared to 6.1 percent of all firearm-associated hospitalizations.

"Public health efforts are needed to reduce this common source of childhood injury," the authors write.

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