Global Firearm Injury: Interpreting International Firearm Mortality Data

Rose Cheney, University of Pennsylvania
Therese Richmond, University of Pennsylvania
C. William Schwab, University of Pennsylvania

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared violence a leading public health problem internationally. Firearm injury is an important, modifiable component of violent death. Understanding and addressing firearm mortality is hindered by inadequate data availability, quality, and comparability. To determine the global nature of firearm mortality, we examined the availability of national firearm mortality data by population size, region and level of development, using two public data sources (WHO World Report on Violence and Health and the United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulations survey). Non-governmental sources of data, such as mortuary statistics, indicated that some populations without systematic data do have firearm injury problems. Available data, for less than 50% of the world's population, provided a minimum global estimate of 120,000 annual firearm deaths. Interpreting implications of data availability, as well as understanding the magnitude and distribution of firearm deaths should be part of a global public health approach

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Presented in Session 25: Violence and Its Effects on Populations