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Introduction and Objective:

Firearm suicide is a leading cause of mortality. This study aims to identify risk factors associated with patients who attempt suicide with a firearm. The hypothesis is that adolescents of non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity are at the highest risk of firearm suicide.


Patients treated at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital between 3/1/2017 and 12/1/2020 for a self-inflicted gunshot wound and/or attempted suicide were included in the study. Patients were identified through ICD-10 codes and a clinical research software tool known as TriNetX was used to analyze incidence of suicide as well as potential risk factors such as patient demographics and past medical history. For risk factor identification and stratification, patients who attempted suicide with a firearm were compared to those who attempted suicide via other mechanisms.


Of the 407 patients identified as having attempted suicide, 55 attempted suicide with a firearm. In analyzing all patients that attempted suicide, the average age was 42, 49% were male, 52% were of white race/ethnicity, and 59% had a history of a mood disorder. Among those who attempted suicide with a firearm, the average age was 53, 82% were male, 78% were of white race/ethnicity, and 75% had a history of a mood disorder.


These results do not entirely support the hypothesis as the highest incidence of firearm suicide was identified in middle-aged males of white race/ethnicity with a history of a mood disorder. Risk factors identified through this study will provide clinicians with the evidence necessary to improve firearm suicide prevention strategies.