David C. Grossman, MD, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, recently shared his thoughts on a new JAMA Pediatrics study, which showed that children living in poor areas were nearly twice as likely to die from firearm suicide compared with those growing up in wealthier neighborhoods.
The study, which is among the first to research links between child suicide and poverty, examined deaths by suicide in children 5 to 19 years old in the United States from 2007 to 2016. These numbers were compared with U.S. Census Bureau data on the percentage of people living below the poverty level in each county.
Overall, results of the study showed that children living in counties with the highest concentrations of poverty were about 37% more likely to die by suicide than children living in counties with lower poverty rates. Additionally, the study found that children living in poverty were 87% more likely to die by firearm suicide.
According to Dr. Grossman, who is also a pediatrician at Washington Permanente Medical Group, more investigation is needed on how physicians can educate families on safe gun storage to help address these findings.
“That’s a ripe issue for research,” Dr. Grossman told The Trace website.
The full story can be read on The Trace website.