Adolescent Gun Violence Shows an Age Group to Focus Trauma Prevention

Published:December 06, 2022DOI:



      Gun violence continues to escalate in America's urban areas. Peer groups of gun wound victims are potential targets for violence prevention initiatives; identification of this cohort is pivotal to efficient deployment strategies. We hypothesize a specific age at which the incidence of penetrating trauma increases significantly in adolescence, below which should be the focus on future trauma prevention.


      Adolescent trauma patients with gunshot wounds seen from July 2011 through June 2021 at a well-established, urban, academic level 1 trauma center were reviewed retrospectively and grouped by age. A linear regression and repeated measured analysis of variance evaluated the change in gunshot wound victims over this time, grouped by age. Demographics were extrapolated, and standard statistical analysis was performed.


      A total of 1304 adolescent trauma patients were included. Those aged 15 y and under had an unchanged incidence of gunshot wounds. However, those aged 16 y and more experienced the majority of increased gun violence; 92% were Black and 90% were male with a mortality of 12%. Adolescents aged 15 y and below were 95% Black and 84% male, with a mortality of 18%.


      Primary prevention efforts to mitigate gun violence should be focused on adolescents below 16 y of age. Prevention of gun violence should include community outreach efforts directed toward middle school-aged children and younger, hoping to decrease the incidence of injury due to gun violence in older adolescents in the future.


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