Surveillance for Violent Deaths — National Violent Death Reporting System, 34 States, Four California Counties, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 2017
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Surveillance for Violent Deaths — National Violent Death Reporting System, 34 States, Four California Counties, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 2017

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Surveill Summ
    • Description:
      Problem/Condition In 2017, approximately 67,000 persons died of violence-related injuries in the United States. This report summarizes data from CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) on violent deaths that occurred in 34 states, four California counties, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in 2017. Results are reported by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, method of injury, type of location where the injury occurred, circumstances of injury, and other selected characteristics. Period Covered 2017. Description of System NVDRS collects data regarding violent deaths obtained from death certificates, coroner and medical examiner reports, and law enforcement reports. This report includes data collected for violent deaths that occurred in 2017. Data were collected from 34 states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin), four California counties (Los Angeles, Sacramento, Shasta, and Siskiyou), the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NVDRS collates information for each death and links deaths that are related (e.g., multiple homicides, homicide followed by suicide, or multiple suicides) into a single incident. Results For 2017, NVDRS collected information on 45,141 fatal incidents involving 46,389 deaths that occurred in 34 states, four California counties, and the District of Columbia; in addition, information was collected on 961 fatal incidents involving 1,027 deaths in Puerto Rico. Data for Puerto Rico were analyzed separately. Of the 46,389 deaths in the 34 states, four California counties, and District of Columbia, the majority (63.5%) were suicides, followed by homicides (24.9%), deaths of undetermined intent (9.7%), legal intervention deaths (1.4%) (i.e., deaths caused by law enforcement and other persons with legal authority to use deadly force acting in the line of duty, excluding legal executions), and unintentional firearm deaths (<1.0%). (The term “legal intervention” is a classification incorporated into the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, and does not denote the lawfulness or legality of the circumstances surrounding a death caused by law enforcement.) Demographic patterns and circumstances varied by manner of death. The suicide rate was higher among males than among females and was highest among adults aged 45–64 years and ≥85 years and non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic Whites. The most common method of injury for suicide was a firearm among males and poisoning among females. Suicide was most often preceded by a mental health, intimate partner, or physical health problem or a recent or impending crisis during the previous or upcoming 2 weeks. The homicide rate was highest among persons aged 20–24 years and was higher among males than females. Non-Hispanic Black males had the highest homicide rate of any racial/ethnic group. The most common method of injury for homicide was a firearm. When the relationship between a homicide victim and a suspect was known, the suspect was most frequently an acquaintance or friend for male victims and a current or former intimate partner for female victims. Homicide most often was precipitated by an argument or conflict, occurred in conjunction with another crime, or, for female victims, was related to intimate partner violence. Among intimate partner violence–related homicides, the largest proportion occurred among adults aged 35–54 years, and the most common method of injury was a firearm. When the relationship between an intimate partner violence–related homicide victim and a suspect was known, most female victims were killed by a current or former intimate partner, whereas approximately half of male victims were killed by a suspect who was not their intimate partner. Almost all legal intervention deaths were among males, and the legal intervention death rate was highest among men aged 25–29 years. Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native males had the highest legal intervention death rate, followed by non-Hispanic Black males. A firearm was used in the majority of legal intervention deaths. When a specific type of crime was known to have precipitated a legal intervention death, the type of crime was most frequently assault/homicide. The most frequent circumstances for legal intervention deaths were reported use of a weapon by the victim in the incident and a mental health or substance use problem (other than alcohol use). Unintentional firearm deaths more frequently occurred among males, non-Hispanic Whites, and persons aged 15–24 years. These deaths most often occurred while the shooter was playing with a firearm and most frequently were precipitated by a person unintentionally pulling the trigger or mistakenly thinking the firearm was unloaded. The rate of death when the manner was of undetermined intent was highest among males, particularly among non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native males, and persons aged 30–34 years. Poisoning was the most common method of injury in deaths of undetermined intent, and opioids were detected in nearly 80% of decedents tested for those substances. Interpretation This report provides a detailed summary of data from NVDRS on violent deaths that occurred in 2017. The suicide rate was highest among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White males, whereas the homicide rate was highest among non-Hispanic Black males. Intimate partner violence precipitated a large proportion of homicides for females. Mental health problems, intimate partner problems, interpersonal conflicts, and acute life stressors were primary circumstances for multiple types of violent death. Public Health Action NVDRS data are used to monitor the occurrence of violence-related fatal injuries and assist public health authorities in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs and policies to reduce and prevent violent deaths. For example, South Carolina VDRS and Colorado VDRS are using their data to support suicide prevention programs through systems change and the Zero Suicide framework. North Carolina VDRS and Kentucky VDRS data were used to examine intimate partner violence–related deaths beyond homicides to inform prevention efforts. Findings from these studies suggest that intimate partner violence might also contribute to other manners of violent death, such as suicide, and preventing intimate partner violence might reduce the overall number of violent deaths. In 2019, NVDRS expanded data collection to include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, providing more comprehensive and actionable violent death information for public health efforts to reduce violent deaths.
    • Source:
      MMWR Surveill Summ. 69(8):1-37
    • Pubmed ID:
      33270620
    • Pubmed Central ID:
      PMC7713989
    • Document Type:
    • Main Document Checksum:
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