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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