National Trends in the Cost Burden of Surgically Treated Gunshot Wounds in the United States

GVPedia Study Database

National Trends in the Cost Burden of Surgically Treated Gunshot Wounds in the United States

Category: Costs, Injury|Journal: Journal of American College of Surgeons|Author: E Aguayo, J Hadaya, N Cho, S Sareh, V Dobaria, Y Sanaiha, Z Tran|Year: 2020


Gun violence remains a major burden on the US healthcare system, with annual cost exceeding $170 billion. Literature on the national trends in cost and survival of gun violence victims requiring operative interventions is lacking.

Study Design

All adults admitted with a diagnosis of gunshot wound requiring operative intervention were identified using the 2005-2016 National Inpatient Sample. The ICD Injury Severity Score, a validated prediction tool, was used to quantify the extent of traumatic injuries. Survey-weighted methodology was used to provide national estimates. Hospitalizations exceeding the 66th percentile of annual cost were considered as high-cost tertile. Multivariable logistic regressions with stepwise forward selection were used to identify factors associated with mortality and high-cost tertile.


During the study period, 262,098 admissions met inclusion criteria with a significant increase in annual frequency and decrease in ICD Injury Severity Scores. A decline in mortality (8.6% to 7.6%; parametric test of trend = 0.03) was accompanied by increasing mean cost ($25,900 to $33,000; nonparametric test of trend < 0.001). After adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics, head and neck (adjusted odds ratio 31.2; 95% CI, 11.0 to 88.4; p < 0.001), vascular operations (adjusted odds ratio 24.5; 95% CI, 19.2 to 31.1; p < 0.001), and gastrointestinal (adjusted odds ratio 27.8; 95% CI, 17.2 to 44.8; p < 0.001) were independently associated with high-cost tertile designation compared with patients who did not undergo these operations.


During the past decade, the increase in gun violence and severity has resulted in higher cost. Operations involving selected surgical treatments incurred higher in-hospital cost. Given the profound economic and social impact of surgically treated gunshot wounds, policy and public health efforts to reduce gun violence are imperative.
Verified by MonsterInsights