Geospatial analysis of firearm injuries in an urban setting: Individual rather than community characteristics affect firearm injury risk

Published:January 16, 2023DOI:


      • Geospatial analysis of individual & community risk factors for firearm injury.
      • Firearm injuries cluster in neighborhoods of low socio-economic status.
      • Black race and male sex are associated with 5x higher risk of firearm injury.
      • Individual characteristics affect firearm injury risk more than community factors.
      • Injury prevention efforts should focus on young, Black men in urban centers.



      The relationship between individual/socioeconomic characteristics and firearm injury risk in an urban center was evaluated.


      A hospital registry was used to identify individuals in Baltimore City who experienced interpersonal firearm injury in 2019 (FA). Injuries that did not satisfy this criterion were used as a comparison group (NF). Socioeconomic characteristics were linked to home address at the block group level. Regression analysis was used to determine predictors of firearm injury. Clusters of high and low firearm relative to non-firearm injuries were identified.


      A total of 1293 individuals were included (FA = 277, NF = 1016). The FA group lived in communities with lower income (p = 0.005), higher poverty (p = 0.007), and more Black residents (p < 0.001). Individual level factors were stronger predictors of firearm injury than community factors on multivariate regression with Black race associated with 5x higher odds of firearm injury (p < 0.001). Firearm injury clustered in areas of low socioeconomic status.


      Individual versus community factors have a greater influence on firearm injury risk. Prevention efforts should target young, Black men in urban centers.


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