WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans are more
likely than whites to die of gunshot and other assault-related
injuries after they arrive at a trauma center, a new study has
Researchers analyzed data from 137,618 black and white assault
victims aged 15 and older who were treated at 100 trauma centers
from 2005 to 2008, and found that the overall death rate was higher
for blacks (8.9 percent) than for whites (5.1 percent).
Compared to white patients, the risk of death for black patients
was 61 percent higher for those with blunt injuries, 36 percent
higher for those with cutting/piercing injuries and 29 percent
higher for those with gunshot injuries, the investigators found
Uninsured black patients accounted for 76 percent of all excess
trauma center deaths from assault, according to the study published
in a recent issue of the
Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care.
The findings are consistent with previous findings, but it's
difficult to identify the causes of these racial disparities, said
study author Anthony R. Harris, emeritus professor of sociology at
the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
"The observed disparities raise questions about the social causes of the very large black/white difference in overall U.S. homicide victimization rates (about seven to one) and have important implications for individual lives, including whether or not a victim remains a victim in an assault case or becomes a victim in a homicide case," Harris said in a university news release.
"The victim's outcome is, in turn, likely to impact the chances the offender will be apprehended and, if so, faced with a charge of aggravated assault or of homicide. Unlike other medical outcomes, in the case of intentional assault, insurance and racial disparities in hospital mortality are thus likely to affect no less than two separate parties, and, often, two or more unrelated families," Harris added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers an