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Access to Firearms Linked to Elevated Mortality Risk — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 21, 2014

Access to Firearms Linked to Elevated Mortality Risk

By Kelly Young

Firearm access in the U.S. is associated with increased risk for death, both by suicide and homicide, according to a meta-analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed the results of 15 observational studies that looked at firearm ownership or availability in the home. People with access to firearms had an increased risk for suicide (odds ratio, 3.24), compared with people without access. Firearm access was also associated with being the victim of a homicide (OR, 1.94), and for women, the risk was even higher (OR, 2.84).

An editorialist says that the meta-analysis likely underestimates mortality from firearm access because the authors did not include population-level studies.

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