Gun shot victims likely to be black males, uninsured, study says

A study of firearm assaults in six states, including Maryland, found that young males make up the largest share of those who go to the hospital with an injury, supporting previous research. But it also found black females were more likely than white males to go to the hospital with such a wound.

The study, by the Urban Institute based on 2010 hospital data, showed uninsured victims were more likely to die than those with insurance. And up to 64 percent of the hospital costs were paid for with public money.

Maryland had 7 homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 people, and 78.4 robberies and 42.3 aggravated assaults, according to the study. The rates for such homicides and robberies were higher than the other states: Arizona, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Wisconsin and the United States overall.

Maryland tied for the highest rate of hospital use for firearm-assault injury per 100,000 people. But it had among the lowest rate of uninsured victims.

The report concluded that hospital costs are large and disproportionately paid for with public dollars, showing public money could be saved by finding effective gun-violence prevention methods.

The report also concluded that hospitalization could provide an opportunity for intervention with young men, and new insurance offered through the federal Affordable Care Act could provide mental health and substance abuse services for groups at high risk of experiencing gun shot wounds.



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