According to data from the CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System, 16,186 violence-related deaths occurred in 16 states in 2010, the majority of which were suicides.
Data for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) are collected from death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, law enforcement reports and secondary sources, according to the surveillance summary published in MMWR.
Suicides accounted for 62.8% of deaths and were more common among males, people aged between 45 and 54 years, non-Hispanic whites, American Indians or Alaska Natives. They occurred more often in a home or apartment using firearms and followed an existing mental health or intimate partner problem, a crisis in the 2 weeks prior or a physical health problem.
The second leading cause of violent death was homicide or death caused by law enforcement or others with legal authority to use deadly force (24.4%), followed by deaths with an uncertain objective (12.2%) and those caused unintentionally by firearms (0.7%).
Homicides occurred more often in men, people aged between 20 and 24 years and non-Hispanic black men. Like suicides, most homicides occurred in a home or apartment, or on a street or highway, and involved a firearm. Arguments or interpersonal conflicts were one of the most common precipitating events before homicides, or the homicides occurred in conjunction with another crime, according to the report.
"The continued development and expansion of NVDRS is essential to CDC's efforts to reduce the personal, familial and societal impacts of violence," researchers wrote. "Further efforts are needed to increase the number of states participating in NVDRS, with an ultimate goal of full national representation."
Disclosure: Relevant financial disclosures could not be confirmed at the time of publication.