Friday, January 4, 2013

Gun deaths up again in 2011

Preliminary statistics from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that the number of deaths in the United States attributable to firearms rose from an upwardly revised 31,672 in 2010 to 32,163 in 2011. The increase mainly reflected increases in firearms-related suicides (up from 19,392 in 2010 to 19,766 in 2010) and accidents (up from 606 in 2010 to 851 in 2011). The number of firearms-related homicides was essentially unchanged (edging up slightly from 11,078 in 2010 to 11,101 in 2011).

The unadjusted mortality rate from firearms (number of firearms-related deaths per 100,000 people in the population) remained constant from 2010 to 2011 at 10.3. The age-adjusted mortality rate from firearms was also constant (10.1 in both years). In contrast, the overall number and rates of homicides fell. Also, the overall age-adjusted mortality rate from all causes fell.

On an age-adjusted basis, people were more likely in 2011 to be killed by a firearm-related suicide or accident (6.4) than to be killed by any type of homicide (5.2; the firearms-related homicide rate was 3.6). Age-adjusted firearm-related death rates were higher than the age-adjusted rates for HIV (2.4), liver disease and cirrhosis (9.7), Parkinson's disease (7.0), and prostate cancer (8.3), but lower than the age-adjusted rates for motor-vehicle accidents (10.9), septicemia (10.5), pancreatic cancer (10.9), and breast cancer (12.0).

If the CDC broke out the figures, age-adjusted firearms-related mortality would have been the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.