Homicide rates declined among young people from 2000 to 2010

September 1, 2013

To examine trends in homicides among those aged 10 to 24 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed National Vital Statistics System data on such deaths for the period 1981 to 2010 and described trends by sex, age, race/ethnicity, and mechanism of injury.

 

To examine trends in homicides among those aged 10 to 24 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed National Vital Statistics System data on such deaths for the period 1981 to 2010 and described trends by sex, age, race/ethnicity, and mechanism of injury. Here are the major findings:

• Homicide rates varied substantially during the study period, with a sharp rise from 1985 to 1993, followed by a decline that has slowed since 1999.

• Throughout the 30-year study period, homicide rates for individuals aged 20 to 24 years remained the highest and rates for those aged 10 to 14 years were the lowest.

• In 2010, among the entire age range (10 to 24 years), the homicide rate was 7.5 per 100,000, the lowest rate in the 30-year study period.

• Nearly 80% of all homicides in the overall study period were attributable to firearms, with the rate of firearm homicide on average 3.7 times that of nonfirearm homicide.

• The highest rates of homicide over the entire study period were among males, those aged 20 to 24 years, and blacks (David-Ferdon C, et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62[27]:545-548).

COMMENTARY  It is good to be reminded that, even with recent decreasing rates in those aged 10 to 24 years, homicide is consistently a leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults. As advocates of children, we need to continue thinking of ways to change these statistics through our actions in the office, the community, and the statehouse. -Michael Burke, MD

DR BURKE, section editor for Journal Club, is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. He is a contributing editor for Contemporary Pediatrics. He has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organization that may have an interest in any part of this article.

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