The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5039.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 8:50 AM

Abstract #66993

A geographical examination of homicides among adults, 1995 to 2001

Angela M Fix, MPH (pending)1, Louise Hofherr, MPH, PhD2, Leslie Upledger Ray, MA, MPPA1, Alan M Smith, MPH1, and Edward M. Castillo, MPH1. (1) Health and Human Services Agency, Division of Emergency Medical Services, County of San Diego, 6255 Mission Gorge Rd, San Diego, CA 92120, 619-285-6429,, (2) Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182

Background: Between 1995-2001, nationally 101,657 lives were lost due to homicide, resulting in approximately four million years of productive life lost making it the sixth leading cause of YPLL in the United States. Regional rates have leveled off to 3.4 per 100,000 but remain a serious public health concern. Objectives: This study was conducted to examine the differences in risk factors between clustered and non-clustered homicides that occurred within the adult population in a large metropolitan area. Methods: For the years 1995-2001, statistical and geographical analyses were performed on all homicides investigated by the local Medical Examiner’s Office. Comparisons were reported between clustered and non-clustered homicides in terms of gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, and event location description. Results: 280 of the 789 homicides were found to be within a significant cluster. A little over one third of homicides were found to be within a significant cluster for each study year. Preliminary results showed groups at high risk were male (OR=1.73), African-American (OR=8.56), Hispanic (OR=2.46), Asian/Other (OR=2.31) and single (OR single : married =2.02). Areas of high risk included residence versus open area (OR=2.37) and streets versus residence (OR=1.55). 48.2% of clustered homicides were victims between the ages of 18 and 29. Between 1995 and 2001 the total number of homicides per year decreased by 49.4%. Conclusions: Despite decreasing trends, homicide remains to be a significant public health concern. Understanding differences between clustered and non-clustered homicides can help in the efforts of prevention planning.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Violent Injury: What Do the Existing Data Tell Us?

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA