Firearm injuries cost $18.9 billion in hospital care over 8 years

Date: Nov 04 2013

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Boston — Firearm injuries in the U.S. cost $18.9 billion in hospital resources between 2003 and 2010, according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 141st Annual Meeting in Boston.

According to the research, 252,181 victims of gunfire in the U.S. resulted in 1.8 million days of hospital service — an average of 7.1 days per incident. The average cost of medical treatment for each hospitalization was $75,884. Additionally, roughly one in three patients was uninsured.

The study reveals that risk increased every year between 2004 and 2010, while similar estimates of high-risk individuals likely to be hospitalized with firearm injuries included adolescents, young adults, males, African-Americans and the uninsured. Data was taken from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

“The impact is probably much higher than $18.9 billion since the years of life lost, disability, lack of productivity, societal well-being and emotional turmoil associated with such injuries is far-reaching,” said Min Kyeong Lee, DMD, Annual Meeting presenter. “This is one of the foremost reasons why health care costs in this country have gotten out of control and underlies the need for better preventive policies.”

Close to 39 percent of hospitalizations in the study occurred among 20-30 year olds, while males accounted for 89 percent of hospital visits.

APHA’s 141st Annual Meeting is themed “Think Global Act Local” and will focus on the creative and successful public health efforts from across the globe and discuss how public health workers can adapt these efforts to the communities they serve at home.

Session 3236.0: Violence and Firearms (Social and Behavioral Health Epidemiology)
Featured presentation: Longitudinal trends in firearm related hospitalizations in the United States: Profile and outcomes during the years 2000 to 2008

Date: Monday, November 4, 2013: 12:30 p.m. EST

Researchers: Min Kyeong Lee, DMD
Veerajalandhar Allareddy, MD, MBA, FAAP
Sankeerth Rampa, BE, MBA
Romesh Nalliah, BDS
Veerasathpurush Allareddy, BDS, PhD, MBA

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