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Recurrent Injury, Death Common After Acute Firearm Injury

Individuals experiencing recurrent injury are typically young and mostly male, Black, and uninsured

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Recurrent injury and death are common among acutely firearm-injured patients in the United States, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Kristen L. Mueller, M.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues examined the incidence and factors associated with recurrent firearm injuries and death among 9,553 consecutive adult and pediatric patients presenting with an acute, nonfatal firearm injury.

The researchers found that 1,155 patients experienced a recurrent firearm injury during a median follow-up of 3.5 years, including five firearm suicides and 149 fatal firearm injuries. Persons experiencing recurrent injury were young (25.3 ± 9.5 years), mostly male (93 percent), Black (96 percent), and uninsured (50 percent). The majority lived in areas of high social vulnerability (65 percent). The estimated risk for firearm injury at one and eight years was 7 and 17 percent, respectively.

“These data provide robust estimates of the burden of recurrent firearm injury and highlight the need for cross-sector data sharing to support firearm injury reduction,” the authors write. “Accurate estimates of recurrence rates enhance both the ability to design appropriate violence intervention programs and to evaluate their real-world effectiveness, yet few studies have addressed firearm injury recurrence.”

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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