Number of scientific publications on firearms shows modest increase in recent years

August 6, 2013

"In January 1996, Congress passed an appropriations bill amendment prohibiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using 'funds made available for injury prevention ... to advocate or promote gun control.' This provision was triggered by evidence linking gun ownership to health harms, created uncertainty among CDC officials and researchers about what could be studied, and led to significant declines in funding," write Joseph A. Ladapo, M.D., Ph.D., of the New York University School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues in JAMA.

As reported in a Research Letter, the authors evaluated the change in the number of publications on firearms in youth compared with research on other leading causes of death before and after the Congressional action, focusing on children and adolescents because they disproportionately experience and injury. The 10 leading causes of death among children and adolescents ages 1 to 17 years were identified using CDC data on mortality between 1991 and 2010. Each cause was then matched to a Medical Subject Heading, and PubMed was searched from 1991-2010 using causes of death and child or adolescent to determine the annual number of publications.

"We only found modest increases in the number of scientific publications on firearms between 1991 and 2010, in contrast to other leading causes of death in youth. The change in number of publications on firearms was lower than anticipated compared with publications not on firearms. There was not a discrete point identified at which the pattern of publications changed. Therefore, whether the Congressional action or other events were responsible is unclear," the authors write.

"The effect on publications after President Obama's January 2013 memorandum directing the CDC to conduct or support research on the causes of gun violence and approaches to prevent it should be evaluated."

Explore further: Measures recommended to prevent gun-related injuries

More information: JAMA. 2013;310[5]:532-534

Related Stories

Measures recommended to prevent gun-related injuries

January 4, 2013

(HealthDay)—Following the tragic shooting on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., measures should be implemented to prevent further gun-related injuries, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 28 in the New England ...

Recommended for you

Bright lighting encourages healthy food choices

May 26, 2016

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.