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Am J Public Health. 2016 Jul;106(7):1316-22. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303182. Epub 2016 May 19.

Firearm Ownership and Suicide Rates Among US Men and Women, 1981-2013.

Author information

1
All of the authors are with the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the relationship between state-level firearm ownership rates and gender-specific, age-adjusted firearm and total suicide rates across all 50 US states from 1981 to 2013.

METHODS:

We used panel data for all 50 states that included annual overall and gender-specific suicide and firearm suicide rates and a proxy for state-level household firearm ownership. We analyzed data by using linear regression and generalized estimating equations to account for clustering.

RESULTS:

State-level firearm ownership was associated with an increase in both male and female firearm-related suicide rates and with a decrease in nonfirearm-related suicide rates. Higher gun ownership was associated with higher suicide rates by any means among male, but not among female, persons.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found a strong relationship between state-level firearm ownership and firearm suicide rates among both genders, and a relationship between firearm ownership and suicides by any means among male, but not female, individuals.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS:

For male persons, policies that reduce firearm ownership will likely reduce suicides by all means and by firearms. For female persons, such policies will likely reduce suicides by firearms.

PMID:
27196643
PMCID:
PMC4984734
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2016.303182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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