Background: Increasing firearm violence has resulted in a strong drive for stricter firearm legislations. Aim of this study was to determine the relationship between firearm legislations and firearm-related injuries across states in the United States.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients with trauma related hospitalization using the 2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. Patients with firearm-related injury were identified using E-codes. States were dichotomized into strict firearm laws [SFL] or non-strict firearm laws [Non-SFL] states based on Brady Center score. Outcome measures were the rate of firearm injury and firearm mortality. Linear Regression and correlation analysis were used to assess outcomes among states.
Results: 1,277,250 patients with trauma related hospitalization across 44 states were included of which, 2,583 patients had firearm-related injuries. Ten states were categorized as SFL and 34 states as Non-SFL. Mean rate of firearm related injury per 1000 trauma patients was lower in SFL states (1.3±0.5 vs. 2.1±1.4; p=0.006) and negatively correlated with Brady score (R2 linear=-0.07; p=0.04). SFL states had a 28% lower incidence of firearm related injuries compared to Non-SFL states (Beta coefficient, -0.28; 95% CI, -1.7- -0.06; p=0.04). Firearm related mortalities resulted in overall 9,722 potential life years lost and more so in the non-SFL states (p=0.001).
Conclusions: States without SFL have higher firearm related injury rates, higher firearm related mortality rate, and significant potential years of life lost compared to SFL states. Further analysis of differences in the legislation between SFL and non-SFL states may help reduce firearm related injury rate.
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