A population-based study of homicide deaths in Ontario, Canada using linked death records

James Lachaud, Peter D Donnelly, David Henry, Kathy Kornas, Andrew Calzavara, Catherine Bornbaum, Laura Rosella

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Homicide - a lethal expression of violence - has garnered little attention from public health researchers and health policy makers, despite the fact that homicides are a cause of preventable and premature death. Identifying populations at risk and the upstream determinants of homicide are important for addressing inequalities that hinder population health. This population-based study investigates the public health significance of homicides in Ontario, Canada, over the period of 1999-2012. We quantified the relative burden of homicides by comparing the socioeconomic gradient in homicides with the leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neoplasm, and estimated the potential years of life lost (PYLL) due to homicide.

METHODS: We linked vital statistics from the Office of the Registrar General Deaths register (ORG-D) with Census and administrative data for all Ontario residents. We extracted all homicide, neoplasm, and cardiovascular deaths from 1999 to 2012, using International Classification of Diseases codes. For socioeconomic status (SES), we used two dimensions of the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg): material deprivation and residential instability. Trends were summarized across deprivation indices using age-specific rates, rate ratios, and PYLL.

RESULTS: Young males, 15-29 years old, were the main victims of homicide with a rate of 3.85 [IC 95%: 3.56; 4.13] per 100,000 population and experienced an upward trend over the study period. The socioeconomic neighbourhood gradient was substantial and higher than the gradient for both cardiovascular and neoplasms. Finally, the PYLL due to homicide were 63,512 and 24,066 years for males and females, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Homicides are an important cause of death among young males, and populations living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Our findings raise concerns about the burden of homicides in the Canadian population and the importance of addressing social determinants to address these premature deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Death Certificates
Homicide
Ontario
Canada
Population
Life Expectancy
Cause of Death
Premature Mortality
Public Health
Neoplasms
Vital Statistics
International Classification of Diseases
Vulnerable Populations
Censuses
Health Policy
Administrative Personnel
Violence
Social Class
Cardiovascular Diseases
Research Personnel

Cite this

Lachaud, James ; Donnelly, Peter D ; Henry, David ; Kornas, Kathy ; Calzavara, Andrew ; Bornbaum, Catherine ; Rosella, Laura. / A population-based study of homicide deaths in Ontario, Canada using linked death records. In: International Journal for Equity in Health. 2017 ; Vol. 16, No. 1.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Homicide - a lethal expression of violence - has garnered little attention from public health researchers and health policy makers, despite the fact that homicides are a cause of preventable and premature death. Identifying populations at risk and the upstream determinants of homicide are important for addressing inequalities that hinder population health. This population-based study investigates the public health significance of homicides in Ontario, Canada, over the period of 1999-2012. We quantified the relative burden of homicides by comparing the socioeconomic gradient in homicides with the leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neoplasm, and estimated the potential years of life lost (PYLL) due to homicide.METHODS: We linked vital statistics from the Office of the Registrar General Deaths register (ORG-D) with Census and administrative data for all Ontario residents. We extracted all homicide, neoplasm, and cardiovascular deaths from 1999 to 2012, using International Classification of Diseases codes. For socioeconomic status (SES), we used two dimensions of the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg): material deprivation and residential instability. Trends were summarized across deprivation indices using age-specific rates, rate ratios, and PYLL.RESULTS: Young males, 15-29 years old, were the main victims of homicide with a rate of 3.85 [IC 95{\%}: 3.56; 4.13] per 100,000 population and experienced an upward trend over the study period. The socioeconomic neighbourhood gradient was substantial and higher than the gradient for both cardiovascular and neoplasms. Finally, the PYLL due to homicide were 63,512 and 24,066 years for males and females, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Homicides are an important cause of death among young males, and populations living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Our findings raise concerns about the burden of homicides in the Canadian population and the importance of addressing social determinants to address these premature deaths.",
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A population-based study of homicide deaths in Ontario, Canada using linked death records. / Lachaud, James; Donnelly, Peter D; Henry, David; Kornas, Kathy; Calzavara, Andrew; Bornbaum, Catherine; Rosella, Laura.

In: International Journal for Equity in Health, Vol. 16, No. 1, 133, 24.07.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Donnelly, Peter D

AU - Henry, David

AU - Kornas, Kathy

AU - Calzavara, Andrew

AU - Bornbaum, Catherine

AU - Rosella, Laura

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Homicide - a lethal expression of violence - has garnered little attention from public health researchers and health policy makers, despite the fact that homicides are a cause of preventable and premature death. Identifying populations at risk and the upstream determinants of homicide are important for addressing inequalities that hinder population health. This population-based study investigates the public health significance of homicides in Ontario, Canada, over the period of 1999-2012. We quantified the relative burden of homicides by comparing the socioeconomic gradient in homicides with the leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neoplasm, and estimated the potential years of life lost (PYLL) due to homicide.METHODS: We linked vital statistics from the Office of the Registrar General Deaths register (ORG-D) with Census and administrative data for all Ontario residents. We extracted all homicide, neoplasm, and cardiovascular deaths from 1999 to 2012, using International Classification of Diseases codes. For socioeconomic status (SES), we used two dimensions of the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg): material deprivation and residential instability. Trends were summarized across deprivation indices using age-specific rates, rate ratios, and PYLL.RESULTS: Young males, 15-29 years old, were the main victims of homicide with a rate of 3.85 [IC 95%: 3.56; 4.13] per 100,000 population and experienced an upward trend over the study period. The socioeconomic neighbourhood gradient was substantial and higher than the gradient for both cardiovascular and neoplasms. Finally, the PYLL due to homicide were 63,512 and 24,066 years for males and females, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Homicides are an important cause of death among young males, and populations living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Our findings raise concerns about the burden of homicides in the Canadian population and the importance of addressing social determinants to address these premature deaths.

AB - BACKGROUND: Homicide - a lethal expression of violence - has garnered little attention from public health researchers and health policy makers, despite the fact that homicides are a cause of preventable and premature death. Identifying populations at risk and the upstream determinants of homicide are important for addressing inequalities that hinder population health. This population-based study investigates the public health significance of homicides in Ontario, Canada, over the period of 1999-2012. We quantified the relative burden of homicides by comparing the socioeconomic gradient in homicides with the leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neoplasm, and estimated the potential years of life lost (PYLL) due to homicide.METHODS: We linked vital statistics from the Office of the Registrar General Deaths register (ORG-D) with Census and administrative data for all Ontario residents. We extracted all homicide, neoplasm, and cardiovascular deaths from 1999 to 2012, using International Classification of Diseases codes. For socioeconomic status (SES), we used two dimensions of the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg): material deprivation and residential instability. Trends were summarized across deprivation indices using age-specific rates, rate ratios, and PYLL.RESULTS: Young males, 15-29 years old, were the main victims of homicide with a rate of 3.85 [IC 95%: 3.56; 4.13] per 100,000 population and experienced an upward trend over the study period. The socioeconomic neighbourhood gradient was substantial and higher than the gradient for both cardiovascular and neoplasms. Finally, the PYLL due to homicide were 63,512 and 24,066 years for males and females, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Homicides are an important cause of death among young males, and populations living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Our findings raise concerns about the burden of homicides in the Canadian population and the importance of addressing social determinants to address these premature deaths.

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DO - 10.1186/s12939-017-0632-9

M3 - Article

VL - 16

JO - International Journal for Equity in Health

JF - International Journal for Equity in Health

SN - 1475-9276

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