Sociodemographic factors and outcomes by intent of firearm injury

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Sociodemographic factors and outcomes by intent of firearm injury

Category: Injury, Suicide, Unintentional, Youth|Journal: Pediatrics (full text)|Author: G Badolato, K Parikh, M Goyal, S Iqbal, S Patel|Year: 2021

Background and Objectives

Firearm injuries are a leading and preventable cause of morbidity and mortality among youth. We sought to explore differences in sociodemographic factors and youth firearm injury outcomes by injury intent (unintentional, assault, and self-harm).



We conducted a repeated cross-sectional analysis of emergency department (ED) visits among youth aged 21 and younger presenting to an ED with a firearm injury between 2009 and 2016 using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. We performed multivariable logistic regression to measure the strength of association between (1) patient-level factors, (2) visit-level characteristics, and (3) clinical outcomes and intent of firearm injury.



We identified 178 299 weighted visits for firearm injuries. The mean age was 17.9 (95% confidence interval 17.8–18.0) years; 89.0% of patients were male, 43.0% were publicly insured, 28.8% were admitted, and 6.0% died. Approximately one-third of the injuries were categorized as unintentional (39.4%), another third as assault (37.7%), and a small proportion as self-harm (1.7%). Unintentional firearm injuries were associated with younger age, rural hospital location, Southern region, ED discharge, and extremity injury. Self-harm firearm injuries were associated with older age, higher socioeconomic status, rural hospital location, transfer or death, and brain, back, or spinal cord injury. Firearm injuries by assault were associated with lower socioeconomic status, urban hospital location, and requiring admission.



We identified distinct risk profiles for youth with unintentional, self-harm-, and assault-related firearm injuries. Sociodemographic factors related to intent may be useful in guiding policy and informing tailored interventions for the prevention of firearm injuries in at-risk youth.