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Guns

In a sobering review paper, examining the deaths in the USA among children and young adults up to 20 years of age, Goldstick JE et al (New Eng J Med 2022;386:1955–1956. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2201761) have used data from The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which has recently released updated official mortality data. It showed that there were 45 222 firearm-related deaths in the United States in 2020 which is a new peak and establishes fire-arm related deaths as the top cause of deaths for children and adolescents in the USA. The figure published is astonishing and shows a marked decrease in deaths from road traffic accidents from 10 per 100 000 children and adolescents in 1999 down to 5 per 100 000 in 2020 whereas deaths from firearms have increased from 4.5 to 6 per 100 000 over the same time-period. The deaths include homicide, accidents, and suicide. Although previous analyses have shown increases in firearm-related mortality in recent years (2015 to 2019), as compared with the relatively stable rates from earlier years (1999 to 2014), these new data show a sharp 13.5% increase in the crude rate of firearm-related death from 2019 to 2020. This change was driven largely by firearm …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.