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Pediatrics. 2009 May;123(5):e815-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0132.

Neighborhood socioeconomic status and homicides among children in urban Canada.

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Division of Pediatric Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



We sought to determine the influence of neighborhood income on homicides among children living in urban Canada.


Homicides among children <15 years of age living in any of Canada's census metropolitan areas in 1996, 1997, or 1998 were identified on the basis of vital statistics death registration data, by using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Deaths were assigned to census tracts through postal codes, and the tracts were then assigned to neighborhood income quintiles on the basis of the proportions of the population below the Statistics Canada low-income cutoff values. Census population counts and intercensal population interpolations were used to estimate person-years at risk for rate calculations. Interquintile rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Poisson regression was used to model the effects of neighborhood income quintiles on homicide rates, after adjustment for age.


During the 3-year study period, there were 87 homicides among children <15 years of age in Canada's census metropolitan areas (0.82 cases per 100,000; not statistically different according to gender). The age-adjusted relative risks for the lowest versus highest neighborhood income quintiles were 2.95 for all children <15 years of age and 3.39 for children <5 years of age.


Effective child homicide-prevention strategies should be focused on children <5 years of age living in low-income areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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