In a national study of homicide rates among persons aged 15 to 24 years,
Dr Fingerhut and colleagues found that, after rates of firearm-related homicides
and non–firearm-related homicides increased steadily during the late
1980s, both firearm-related and non–firearm-related homicides decreased
between 1993 and 1995, with declines occurring across all urban strata, among
whites and blacks, and among males and females.
Elder abuse and neglect are common, but whether abuse and
neglect increase an elder's risk of death is not known. Dr Lachs and colleagues
found that elderly patients with verified allegations of abuse, neglect, or
self-neglect were much less likely to survive than those who had not had allegations
of mistreatment or self-neglect.
The prevalence of domestic violence among women presenting to community
hospital emergency departments (EDs) is not known. Dr Dearwater and colleagues
surveyed 3455 women in 11 EDs and found 2.2% reported acute trauma from abuse
from an intimate partner, 14.4% reported physical or sexual abuse within the
past year, and 36.9% reported lifetime emotional or physical abuse.
Little research on refugee mental health has been conducted in developing
nations, where most refugees are. Dr Shrestha and colleagues assessed Bhutanese
refugees in United Nations refugee camps in Nepal and found that refugees
who had experienced torture were much more likely to have symptoms of posttraumatic
stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Physicians have actively called for prevention of nuclear war since
the 1960s and should assume a new role in the 21st century, according to Drs
Forrow and SidelArticle. In an editorial, Drs Lown, Chazov, and Foege, and Drs Saeed-Ul-Majeed
and R. Jayachandra ReddyArticle, the presidents of the Pakistan and Indian Medical
Associations, respectively, appeal to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan
to pledge no first use of nuclear weapons, stating, "Now, the essential conclusion
is that total elimination of these genocidal weapons is the sole guarantee
that they will never be used."
"So bizarre as to be almost inconceivable, the notion of such violence
in a picture of cherubs or cupids or sleeping children is disturbing . . ."
Francesco Gessi, Tre Puttini Feriti (Three Little Wounded Putti), c 1620, Italian.
"The only body I had ever opened was my cadaver in anatomy lab, which
was preserved in formaldehyde and completely dried out; I'd never seen blood.
In the autopsy room there was blood everywhere." From "Autopsy Room."
While a new CDC survey shows firearm-related deaths and injuries declining,
the number of violent incidents in schools continues to increase—and
psychiatrists ponder this frightening US trend.
Do the possible benefits of owning a gunArticle outweigh the potential risksArticle?
Web resources about domestic violence.
50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For your patients: Information on domestic violence.
This Week in JAMA. JAMA. 1998;280(5):399. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.399