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This Week in JAMA
August 5, 1998

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 1998;280(5):399. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.399
Theme Issue on Violence/Human Rights

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.

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Elder Mistreatment and Survival

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.

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Partner Abuse Among Women in Community Hospitals

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.

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Mental Health of Refugees Who Have Been Tortured

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.

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Physicians Must Advocate Against Nuclear War

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."

The Cover

"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.

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A Piece of My Mind

"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."

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Medical News & Perspectives

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.

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Do the possible benefits of owning a gunArticle outweigh the potential risksArticle?

JAMA NetSight

Web resources about domestic violence.

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50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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JAMA Patient Page

For your patients: Information on domestic violence.

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