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Injury. 2006 May;37(5):428-34. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Violence related injuries, deaths and disabilities in the capital of Honduras.

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  • 1Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital, Chelsea, London, UK.



Honduras has the second highest incidence of violence in the Americas. The aim of this study is to explore the number and mechanism of fatal injuries, non-fatal injuries and the sequelae of these injuries due to violence. This is compared with unintentional injuries, in the capital of Honduras for 2001, with a view to better-targeted prevention.


Data for non-fatal injuries was retrospectively obtained from medical records of all admissions from the public Emergency Department in Tegucigalpa for 2001. Data on fatal injuries were obtained from the national forensic department. All injuries were reviewed for intention, mechanism and age group.


There were 1631 (rate 138/100,000) fatal injuries recorded for 2001 in Tegucigalpa. Of these, 1149 (70.4%) were due to violence, compared to 355 (21.8%) due to unintentional injuries and 127 (7.8%) of unknown intent. Homicides accounted for 1044 (64%), suicides 105 (6.4%) and unintentional deaths 355 (22%). Firearms were the leading cause of death in the homicide group (84.3%). In addition 1592 (rate 235/100,000) non-fatal injuries were documented for people 15 years and above, with 1228 (77.1%) caused by violence, of which 640 (52.1%) were caused by firearms. The age group 15-24 years had the highest rates of fatal and non-fatal injuries due to violence. Twenty percent had permanent sequelae as a result of their injuries. Firearm injuries had the highest proportion of sequelae (28.8%).


Violence in Tegucigalpa is a major cause of injury resulting in substantial morbidity, mortality and disability, particularly in young individuals. Firearms are the most common form of violence related injury mechanism and carry the highest associated mortality and permanent disability. Prevention programs are urgently needed to address this devastating problem.

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