Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content
Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to this page's context menuSkip directly to the page's main content
State of Alaska

Health Indicator Report of Firearm-Related Mortality Rate

Firearm-related deaths include deaths due to accidental discharge of a firearm and deaths due to intentional discharge (suicide or homicide.) With 174 deaths in 2016, firearm-related deaths would have been the seventh leading cause of death in Alaska if the grouping was included in the tabulation list used to compute the leading causes of death.^2^ In 2016, there were 7,056 years of potential life lost due to firearm-related deaths, with 40.6 years lost prematurely for each death, on average.^2^[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 2. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Health Analytics and Vital Records Section. Alaska Vital Statistics 2016 Annual Report. [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Documents/PDFs/VitalStatistics_Annualreport_2016.pdf] Accessed June 18, 2018. }}

Notes

Data are age adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population.   Alaska data from 2008 through 2015 received May 2, 2017, on SR17061.xlsx.

Data Sources

  • [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/default.aspx Health Analytics and Vital Records Section (HAVRS)], Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data Interpretation Issues

[http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm Alaska population estimates] provided by the State Demographer in the [http://laborstats.alaska.gov/ Research and Analysis Section] of the [http://labor.alaska.gov/ Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development]. Causes of death attributable to firearm mortality include ICD-10 codes *U01.4, Terrorism involving firearms (homicide); W32-W34, Accidental discharge of firearms; X72-X74, Intentional self-harm (suicide) by discharge of firearms; X93-X95, Assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms; Y22-Y24, Discharge of firearms, undetermined intent; and Y35.0, Legal intervention involving firearm discharge. Deaths from injury by firearms exclude deaths due to explosives and other causes indirectly related to firearms.^1^[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 1. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016. [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_04.pdf] Accessed October 4, 2016. }}

Definition

Rate of age-adjusted firearm-related mortality is defined as deaths attributed to firearms as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate per 100,000 population. The following is the list of firearm-related ICD-10 codes: U01.4, W32-W34, X72-X74, X93-X95, Y22-Y24, and Y35.0.

Numerator

Number of firearm-related deaths as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate in the resident population for a specific time period.

Denominator

Mid-year resident population for a specific time period.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce firearm-related deaths

U.S. Target: 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population

How Are We Doing?

In 2016, there were 174 firearm-related deaths in Alaska, resulting in an age-adjusted rate of 23.4 per 100,000. There were 49 firearm-related deaths of Alaska Native people, resulting in mortality rate of 37.3 per 100,000. From 2007 to 2016, the age-adjusted rate of firearm-related deaths has increased 28.6%. Males were more than 3-times more likely to die of firearm-related causes than females in 2016. The age groups most at risk of firearm-related mortality were 15-24, 25-34 and older than 85 years for the 15-year average from 2002-2016. Alaskans residing in the northern and southwest regions had statistically higher rates of firearm-related mortality than the remainder of the state for the 5-year average from 2012-2016. Firearm storage practices are an important component in preventing both accidental and suicide firearm-related mortality.^3^ In 2007 (the most recent year firearm questions were asked in Alaska on the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/brfss/default.aspx Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)], over 10% of adults (18+) had loaded and unlocked firearms in their households. Only 5.4% of Alaska Native adults kept loaded and unlocked firearms compared to 13.1% of white adults in 2007.[[br]][[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 3. Okoro CA, Nelson DE, Mercy JA, Balluz LS, et al. Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002. Pediatrics 2005;116:e370-e376. [www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/ 10.1542/peds.2005-0300] Accessed October 20, 2016. }}

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The firearm-related mortality rate was 11.1 per 100,000 for the U.S. in 2015 (the most recent year for which national data were available). In contrast, the firearm-related mortality rate was 23.6 per 100,000 for all Alaskans and 34.7 per 100,000 for Alaska Native people in 2015.

What Is Being Done?

Two items that can reduce firearm-related mortality are safe storage of firearms and preventing accidental shootings. Both firearm prevalence and questionable storage practices (i.e., storing firearms loaded and unlocked) are associated with higher rates of unintentional firearm deaths.^4^ The U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that 31% of unintentional deaths caused by firearms might be prevented by the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock (8%) and a loading indicator (23%).^5^ The Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Women's, Children's and Family Health's Maternal Child Death Review (MCDR) program collects fatality data for every child aged 17 and under, and for women who have been pregnant in the past year. For firearm-related fatalities, the data include information on gun ownership, and whether the gun(s) involved in a death were stored locked and/or loaded. The goal of the MCDR is to analyze and provide information on maternal, infant and child deaths in order to reduce future fatalities. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game requires hunter education, including firearm safety, to hunt in specified areas of Alaska for those born after January 1, 1986 and aged 16 years and older; or hunt under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter who is 16 years or older and who has completed hunter education or who was born on or before January 1, 1986. [[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallFont 4. Matthew Miller, Deborah Azrael & David Hemenway. Firearm Availability and Unintentional Firearm Deaths, 33 Accident Analysis & Prevention 477 (July 2001). 5. U.S. General Accounting Office. Accidental Shootings: Many Deaths and Injuries Caused by Firearms Could Be Prevented. 17 Mar. 1991. [http://161.203.16.4/d20t9/143619.pdf]. Accessed October 4, 2016. }}
Page Content Updated On 06/26/2018, Published on 11/07/2018
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 18 November 2018 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov ".

Content updated: Wed, 7 Nov 2018 15:17:46 AKST
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics AK-IBIS web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 18 November 2018 20:45:01 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/ ".

Content updated: Wed, 7 Nov 2018 15:17:46 AKST