Use of a gun prevalence proxy measure to examine the spatial distribution of homicide in urban los angeles county, 2000-2009
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Introduction: Homicide is a leading cause of death in Los Angeles County with gun homicide accounting for approximately 80% of homicide deaths. This study analyzes the relationship between a gun prevalence proxy and homicide deaths at the census tract level in the urban areas of Los Angeles County, California. Methods: Homicide in the contiguous, residential, urban census tracts in Los Angeles County was examined using death certificate data for residents of Los Angeles County (2000-2009), the Population Estimates and Projection Systems (PEPS), and 2000 Census Sample Data. Race, education, poverty, and a previously validated proxy measure for gun prevalence were examined at the census tract level. Poisson log-linear regression with a working spatial covariance structure incorporating Euclidean-based distance weights was used to account for spatial effects. Results: After adjusting for race, education, poverty, and spatial effects, the gun prevalence proxy remained significantly associated with homicide at the census tract level (p <0.007). Multivariable analysis showed that race, poverty, education, and the proxy measure of gun prevalence were all significantly associated with homicide when adjusting for model covariates. After adjusting for spatial effects, race, education, and the gun prevalence proxy all remained significantly associated with homicide. Conclusions: Although the proxy measure of gun prevalence was positively associated with homicide at the census tract level, the measure underestimates homicide in predominately black, urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Further study is needed to develop a robust measure of gun prevalence suitable for small area analysis in residentially segregated urban areas.
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Explain why a previously validated measures of gun prevalence may underestimate the true prevalence of guns in certain Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Describe the spatial distribution of homicide in urban Los Angeles County
Discuss the need for a robust proxy measure for gun prevalence
Identify one proxy measure for gun prevalence
Keyword(s): Firearms, Homicide
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed this work as my thesis for the the MPH degree at Columbia University, Department of Epidemiology. I have spent the six months as a Data Analyst with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with a focus on injury epidemiology. My research interests include gun injuries, homicide, drug overdoses, and HIV/STDs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.