Objective: New Mexico (NM) has the highest rate of non-firearm-related homicide in the USA and ranks 20th in firearm-related homicides. Because non-firearm-related homicides are inadequately described in the literature, characterisation of non-firearm-related homicide victims will enhance efforts to reduce homicides.
Methods: Homicide victims were identified through the Office of the Medical Investigator. Age-specific and age-adjusted homicide death rates were calculated for 2001–3 by sex and race/ethnicity, and associations between covariates and non-firearm-related homicide were measured.
Results: Non-firearm-related homicides comprised 33% of US homicide victims, 47% of NM homicide victims, and 74% of NM American Indian (AI) homicide victims. Of 212 NM non-firearm-related homicide victims, 37% had been beaten, 32% had been stabbed, and 12% had been strangled. Females comprised 30% of non-firearm-related homicide victims and 18% of firearm-related homicide victims. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) ⩾0.08 mg/dl was detected among 43% of non-firearm-related (61% of AI) and 33% of firearm-related (50% of AI) homicide victims. Non-firearm-related homicide rates were highest among AI men aged 25–34 years (31/100 000). Non-firearm-related homicide victims were more likely than firearm-related victims to be AI (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.20; 95% CI 2.16 to 8.16) and female (AOR 2.05; 95% CI 1.27 to 3.31), and to have had a BAC ⩾0.08 mg/dl (AOR 1.65; 95% CI 1.08 to 2.52).
Conclusions: Homicide-prevention efforts among AIs in NM should focus on non-firearm-related homicides. The association between excessive drinking and non-firearm-related homicide should be further characterised. Continued surveillance for non-firearm-related homicides will assist these efforts.
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Competing interests None.
Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.