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U.S. Lost 12.6 Million Years of Life Because of Guns in Decade

In an analysis in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open, researchers found that between 2009 and 2018, the United States lost 12.6 million years of life because of firearms, the Washington Post reports. The team used Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data and death certificates. Over the period studied, they found, firearm deaths increased by 0.72 percent every year, rising from 47 percent of trauma deaths to nearly 51 percent. When the researchers calculated years lost based on an average life expectancy of 80 years, they found that white males, the majority of firearm deaths, lost the most years of potential life because of suicide by gun — a total of 4.95 million potential years during the decade-long study period. White males under 45 were 46 percent less likely to die by firearm suicide than their older counterparts. Black males were more likely to die of homicide, losing 3.2 million potential years. The majority who died by homicide were between the ages of 15 and 24. Although females were much less likely to die because of a firearm, gun suicide was on the rise among women; they lost over 867,000 years of potential life because of suicide. The researchers found stark regional differences in the trends. The South — the region with the highest number of registered firearms — has a higher level of gun-related suicide and homicide than the rest of the nation.


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