Background: Violence related injuries (VRIs) are a major public health problem in the United States (US). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the US and the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years old. Among African Americans aged 10-34, homicide is the leading cause of death and is the fifth leading cause of death among those 35-44 years old. One form of homicide that can result in injury resulting in death is firearm violence. The objective of this study is to assess the rates of VRIs among African American males who have been admitted to a Level I trauma center serving metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of trauma patients admitted to a level 1 trauma center for VRIs over a 3 year period from 2011 to 2013. Data were obtained from the Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH) trauma registry, which serves metropolitan Atlanta, GA. De-identified variables selected included gender, race/ethnicity, age, type of VRI, and year of admission. All analyses were conducted utilizing SAS version 9.2.

Results: Of the total number of patients (n=2859) the majority were male (89%), African- American (80%) and between the ages of 20-40 years (61%). The majority of patients (55%) were admitted to the hospital for gunshot wounds followed by assault (33%) and stab wounds (12%). The numbers of VRI patients admitted were similar in each of the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, which represent 31%, 35%, and 34% of the total, respectively.

Conclusions: Statistically significant differences were observed between gender, race and age with respect to all VRIs included in the analyses, particularly among African American males. Policy makers may consider targeting interventions accordingly to address VRIs. Further research is needed to identify other factors potentially associated with VRIs.

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