Research concerning suicide and homicide in North Carolina is needed so that medical providers and others who develop and implement preventive and therapeutic interventions related to violence have an empirical base from which to work.
North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System data composed of death certificates, medical examiner reports, and law enforcement reports were analyzed to examine the prevalence of suicide and homicide in North Carolina during 2004-2007 and to describe the sociodemographic characteristics of suicide and homicide victims.
Suicides and homicides accounted for 2.3% of all North Carolina deaths during 2004-2007. There were 12.0 suicides (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.7-12.4) and 7.2 homicides (95% CI, 6.9-7.4) per 100,000 North Carolina residents. Suicide rates were higher among men and boys, whites, non-Hispanics, and persons aged ≥35 years. Homicide rates were higher among men and boys, American Indians, blacks, Hispanics, and persons aged ≤24 years. Firearms were the most common method used to commit suicide and homicide, accounting for 59.5% of suicides and 67.0% of homicides.
Every day in North Carolina, approximately 3 persons kill themselves and approximately 2 persons are killed by others. Suicide and homicide inflict a high level of preventable mortality in North Carolina. Learning more about these violent deaths will help to inform the development of effective violence-prevention interventions.