Firearms and Suicide Risk
- Suicide is defined as "death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior".
- Suicide is the overall tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death for young Americans (aged 10-39).
- Firearms accounted for approximately one-half (24,292; 53%) of suicides in 2020.
- Completed suicides are predominantly male (78%); suicide rates are over 3.5 times higher in males than females.
- Males are roughly 4x more likely than females to die by suicide, although females attempt suicide 3x as often.
- This discrepancy is usually credited to the male preference for more fatal methods of suicide attempt, chiefly firearms; in 2009, there was a 90.9% case fatality in men vs. 70% in women for firearm-related suicides.
- The U.S. has the highest rate of firearm ownership per capita globally. It is estimated that one out of every three U.S. households contains a firearm. Two-thirds of all gun deaths are suicides.
- Firearms are not only the most common method of suicide but also the most lethal, with an 85% fatality rate. See Graph
- Gun ownership is tightly positively correlated with the suicide rate.
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Last updated: September 3, 2022
Esagoff, Aaron I, et al. "Firearms and Suicide Risk." Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2022. Johns Hopkins Guides, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787364/all/Firearms_and_Suicide_Risk.
Esagoff AI, L, Nestadt P. Firearms and Suicide Risk. Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. 2022. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787364/all/Firearms_and_Suicide_Risk. Accessed June 1, 2023.
Esagoff, A. I., , L., & Nestadt, P. (2022). Firearms and Suicide Risk. In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787364/all/Firearms_and_Suicide_Risk
Esagoff AI, L, Nestadt P. Firearms and Suicide Risk [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. ; 2022. [cited 2023 June 01]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787364/all/Firearms_and_Suicide_Risk.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Firearms and Suicide Risk ID - 787364 A1 - Esagoff,Aaron,B.S. AU - ,Lisa Young, AU - Nestadt,Paul,M.D. Y1 - 2022/09/03/ BT - Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787364/all/Firearms_and_Suicide_Risk DB - Johns Hopkins Guides DP - Unbound Medicine ER -