Number of suicides using firearms (worldwide and by WHO regions), by sex, 2019. Source: GBD estimates. Author: Ilic et al., 2022, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (

From 1990 to 2019, deaths from suicides by firearms declined worldwide, but in some countries there is a growing trend. Irena Ilic of the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and colleagues present these findings in an open access journal PLOS ONE May 25, 2022

Suicides with firearms are a significant public health problem in many countries. Tracking and understanding firearms suicide statistics can help inform mortality reduction efforts. However, several studies have been reviewed mortality from suicide with firearms worldwide.

To better understand this issue, Ilyich and his colleagues analyzed data on suicides with firearms in 204 countries and territories covering the period from 1990 to 2019. Using this data, they calculated age-standardized mortality rates from suicide with a firearm; this measurement takes into account the differences in mortality rates from firearms suicides observed between different age groups and the different proportions of people of different ages that make up the populations of different countries.

By 2019, the analysis showed that there were 52,694 firearms deaths worldwide, giving an age-standardized death rate of 0.65 deaths per 100,000 people. This year, worldwide figures for men were six times higher than for women (45,110 deaths in men and 7,584 in women). The highest rates of suicide with firearms, for both men and women, were in Greenland and the United States, followed by developed countries including France, Canada, Finland, Switzerland and Norway. The lowest rates were in China, Japan and Singapore.

Worldwide, the number of suicides with firearms declined between 1990 and 2019, with the largest declines observed in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Australia and Switzerland. However, growth has been observed in 31 countries, especially in developing countries including Jamaica, Venezuela and Egypt. In some countries, such as Afghanistan, rates have increased for women but not for men.

The authors note that the data used for this study may suffer from incompleteness for some countries, as well as from a lack of standardization of suicide data between countries. However, the findings could help inform public health efforts to reduce suicides with firearms around the world.

The authors add that “there are large international differences in the structures of mortality from suicides with firearms. in mortality from suicide came from a firearm. ”

Research findings may help improve firearms safety reports to prevent suicide

Additional information:
Irena Ilyich et al., Global Trends in Mortality from Suicides from Firearms (1990–2019): A Regression Analysis of the Joint Point, PLOS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0267817

Citation: Suicide with firearms has decreased worldwide since 1990, but has increased in 31 countries (2022, May 25), obtained on May 25, 2022 from -worldwide-rose.html

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