THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Firearm deaths increased globally between 1990 and 2016, according to a study published in the Aug. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Mohsen Naghavi, M.D., Ph.D., from University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues from the Global Burden of Disease 2016 Injury Collaborators used deidentified aggregated data, including 13,812 location-years of vital registration data, to estimate mortality due to firearms by age, sex, year, and location. Analysis included 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016.

The researchers found that 251,000 people died from firearm injuries in 2016, with six countries accounting for 50.5 percent of those deaths (Brazil, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guatemala). This is up from 1990, when there were an estimated 209,000 deaths from firearm injuries. The majority of firearm injury deaths worldwide in 2016 were homicides (64.0 percent). More than one-quarter of firearm deaths were suicides (27 percent) and 9 percent were unintentional. By age, highest aggregate firearm injury deaths in 2016 were seen among persons aged 20 to 24 years. However, there was an annualized decrease of 0.9 percent in the global rate of age-standardized firearm deaths over the study period.

“Despite an overall decrease in rates of firearm injury deaths since 1990, there was variation among countries and across demographic subgroups,” the authors write.

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