CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. study has found homicide rates are higher in states having higher numbers of households with firearms.
In what's called the first nationally representative study to examine the relationship between household firearm ownership and state levels of homicide, researchers at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found homicide rates among children, women and men of all ages, are higher in states where more households have guns.
Harvard School of Public Health Assistant Professor Matthew Miller and colleagues David Hemenway and Deborah Azrael used data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System -- the world's largest telephone survey with more than 200,000 respondents nationwide.
The survey, involving respondents from all 50 states, found approximately one in three households reported firearm ownership.
States within the highest quartile of firearm prevalence had firearm homicide rates 114 percent higher than states within the lowest quartile of firearm prevalence. Overall homicide rates were 60 percent higher.
The study is detailed in the February issue of the journal Social Science and Medicine.