Full-Text Friday: Firearms Access and Risk of Homicide and Suicide

This week’s article was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a meta-analysis looking at access to firearms and risk of homicide and/or suicide. Details after the jump:

Citation: Ann Intern Med. 2014 Jan;160(2): 101-110. The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and Homicide Victimization Among Household Members: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Anglemyer A, Horvath T, Rutherford G.

Why this article: Firearms deaths are undeniably a public health issue. Regardless of where you fall on the gun control debate spectrum we will see patients in our practices who are at risk for a homicide or suicide, or who, in fact, end up dead because of a firearm.

Key quote: Although men with access to firearms may have higher odds of committing suicide than women, women have higher odds of homicide victimization… Although men account for more than three quarters of all suicides and homicides, women with firearm access have a higher risk for homicide victimization, a finding that previous studies support. Of note, in our review, homicide was the result of victimization rather than perpetration. Furthermore, empirical evidence suggests that most homicide victims know their assailant, which suggests an interpersonal dispute within the household or other domestic violence and not an unknown intruder.