September 14, 2023

ACS: Lesser-known factors linked to firearm violence

Editor's Note

An analysis of more than 71,000 shooting incidents in five major US cities has identified lesser-known factors that are linked to increased firearm assaults, according to a September 13 news release from the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Researchers found that fatal and nonfatal firearm assaults were clustered in neighborhoods with high levels of social stressors measured by socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, housing type, and transportation.

Of these:

  • Socioeconomic status was the most strongly associated with an increase in shooting incidents, with an incidence rate ratio of 45%.
  • Household composition and disability was second at 7%.
  • Housing type and transportation was third at 3%.
  • Minority status and language had a reverse effect, with an 18% lower incidence rate.

When the researchers looked deeper, two factors were most associated with an increase in shooting incidents—higher proportion of the population living below the poverty line or low per-capita income—both of which fall under socioeconomic status.

Factors associated with fewer shootings were a higher percentage of inhabitants aged 65 years and older or 17 years and younger and a high density of multiunit structures.

The analysis included data on 71,296 shooting incidents from 2015 to 2021 in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia. During this time, shootings increased 50% in Chicago and 41% in Philadelphia.

Revisit this March 2023 OR Manager article, "Preparing for active shooter events," for healthcare-focused information on firearm violence.



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