68% of deaths from firearms are from self-harm, majority in older men in rural regions

October 19, 2020

A new study of gun injuries and deaths in Ontario found that 68% of firearm-related deaths were from self-harm, and they most often occurred in older men living in rural regions, pointing to the need for targeted prevention efforts. The study is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

There were 2009 injuries secondary to self-harm over the study period, and "this is equivalent to a firearm-related injury ... every 3 days; 92% of these injuries were fatal," writes Dr. David Gomez, a trauma surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, adjunct staff scientist at ICES, and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, with coauthors.

In Canada, nonfatal firearm-related injuries are largely unmeasured.

To better understand injuries and deaths from firearms, a major cause of morbidity and mortality, researchers looked at data on all residents of Ontario with a valid OHIP number who were injured or died of gun injuries between 2002 and 2016. They used hospital discharge and provincial death records to categorize injuries as assault, unintentional, self-harm and undetermined intent.

Some findings:Targeted initiatives are required to address the different causes of injuries in rural and urban regions.

"This urban-rural divide highlights the need for tailored interventions to address these 2 contrasting injury patterns," write the authors. "Our findings highlight the need for suicide-prevention strategies in rural Ontario targeted at men aged 45 or older. Restricting access to lethal methods by such means as safe-storage campaigns and reduction in firearm ownership must go hand in hand with depression screening and treatment."

"Firearm-related injuries and deaths in Ontario, Canada, 2002-2016: a population-based study" is published October 19, 2020.

Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Injuries Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 frequently causes neurological injuries
Without directly invading the brain or nerves, the virus responsible for COVID-19 causes potentially damaging neurological injuries in about one in seven infected, a new study shows.

Head and neck injuries make up nearly 28% of all electric scooter accident injuries
A Henry Ford study is sounding the alarm on the rise of electric scooter injuries, and particularly head and neck injuries, since the 2017 introduction of e-scooter rideshare programs in urban centers.

Reasons for football injuries
If professional footballers are out of action due to injuries, this can have serious consequences for the club.

Glass tables can cause life-threatening injuries
Faulty glass in tables can cause life-threatening injuries, according to a Rutgers study, which provides evidence that stricter federal regulations are needed to protect consumers.

Concerns over police head injuries
Head injuries may be worryingly common among police officers, according to a new pilot study led by the University of Exeter.

Firework-related eye injuries
Emergency department data were used to describe the number, type, severity and factors associated with firework-related eye injuries that occurred in the United States from 1999 to 2017.

Injuries from motorized scooters
Motorized scooters are increasingly popular and, in this study, researchers analyzed medical information for 61 adults who visited a single emergency department with scooter-related injuries.

Children's fingertip injuries could signal abuse
Many children who suffer fingertip injuries have been abused, according to a Rutgers study.

Cell phone injuries
Cell phones are mainstays of daily life. This observational study analyzed 20 years of data on people who went to emergency departments with head and neck injuries from cell phone use to estimate the number of injuries, learn what types of injuries there were, and understand how the injuries occurred, such as from distracted driving or walking.

New study looks at motorized scooter injuries
More than half of people who received X-rays or CT scans after electric scooter accidents were found to have injuries, most commonly to the upper extremities, according to a new study.

Read More: Injuries News and Injuries Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.