Deaths from violence in North Carolina, 2004: how deaths differ in females and males
- C Sanford1,
- S W Marshall2,3,
- S L Martin3,4,
- T Coyne-Beasley3,5,
- A E Waller6,
- P J Cook7,
- T Norwood1,
- Z Demissie2
- 1Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, Division of Public Health, NC Department Health and Human Services, Raleigh, NC, USA
- 2Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 3Injury Prevention Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 4Department of Maternal and Child Heath, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 5Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 6Department of Emergency Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 7Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
- Correspondence to: MrsC (Kay) Sanford Director, NC Violent Death Reporting System, Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, NC Division of Public Health, 1915 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1915, USA;
- Accepted 3 August 2006
Objective: To identify gender differences in violent deaths in terms of incidence, circumstances, and methods of death.
Design: Analysis of surveillance data.
Setting: North Carolina, a state of 8.6 million residents on the eastern seaboard of the US.
Subjects: 1674 North Carolina residents who died from violence in the state during 2004.
Methods: Information on violent deaths was collected by the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System using data from death certificates, medical examiner reports, and law enforcement agency incidence reports.
Results: Suicide and homicide rates were lower for females than males. For suicides, females were more likely than males to have a diagnosis of depression (55% v 36%), a current mental health problem (66% v 42%), or a history of suicide attempts (25% v 13%). Firearms were the sole method of suicide in 65% of males and 42% of females. Poisonings were more common in female than male suicides (37% v 12%). Male and female homicide victims were most likely to die from a handgun or a sharp instrument. Fifty seven percent of female homicides involved intimate partner violence, compared with 13% of male homicides. Among female homicides involving intimate partner violence, 78% occurred in the woman’s home. White females had a higher rate of suicide than African-American females, but African-American females had a higher rate of homicide than white females.
Conclusions: The incidence, circumstances, and methods of fatal violence differ greatly between females and males. These differences should be taken into account in the development of violence prevention efforts.
- ICD-10, International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision
- NC-VDRS, North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System
- NVDRS, National Violent Death Reporting System
- OCME, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
This work was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Violent Death Reporting System Grant No #U17/CCU423098.
Competing interests: none.