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Health Place. 1999 Jun;5(2):179-85.

Sociodemographic and geographic patterns of firearm suicide in the United States, 1989-1993.

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School of Community Health, Portland State University, OR 97207-0751, USA.


This study identified the sociodemographic and geographic patterns of using firearms to commit suicide in the United States. Data from the Mortality Detail Files (1989-1993) were analyzed using logistic regression. The adjusted odds of using firearms increased with age among men and decreased among women. Widowed men and married women had the highest odds of using firearms. The odds were highest among those without college education, in nonmetropolitan areas and in the East South Central and West South Central geographic divisions. The likelihood of using firearms to commit suicide varies significantly across sociodemographic and geographic subgroups of the US population and parallels patterns of gun ownership. The results of this study suggest that regional cultural factors play an important role in accounting for the differential rates in suicidal behavior involving firearms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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