A study led by researchers at Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine explored temporal trends in deaths from firearms among U.S. schoolchildren by age and race from 1999 to 2017. Their report quantifies these recent epidemics using data from the Multiple Cause of Death Files of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Results of the study, just published in the American Journal of Medicine, show that from 1999 to 2017, 38,942 firearm-related deaths occurred in 5 to 18 year olds. These included 6,464 deaths in children between the ages of 5 to 14 years old (average of 340 deaths per year), and 32,478 deaths in children between the ages of 15 to 18 years old (average of 2,050 deaths per year).
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"It is sobering that in 2017, there were 144 police officers who died in the line of duty and about 1,000 active duty military throughout the world who died, whereas 2,462 school-age children were killed by firearms," said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., senior author, first Sir Richard Doll Professor, and senior academic advisor in FAU's Schmidt College of Medicine.
Statistically significant increases in firearm-related deaths began in 2009, with the first epidemic among 5 to 14 year olds followed by a second epidemic that began in 2014 among 15 to 18 year olds. Each of these epidemics has continued through 2017, the most recent year for which U.S. mortality data are currently available. Percentages of all deaths due to firearms were 5.6 at ages 5 to 14 years old and 19.9 at ages 15...
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