The statistics are hard to believe.
- The most dangerous counties in the United States have rates of violent death that are more than 10 times higher than the safest counties.
- In Los Angeles County, homicide subtracts nearly five years from the expected life span of African American men in some neighborhoods.
- Across the U.S., death by homicide is more than eight times more common among blacks, and three times more common among Native Americans, compared with white Americans.
What could account for such staggering inequalities? A new key concept in AHCJ’s core topic area on the social determinants of health sizes up the problem, what’s known about root causes, and how people are trying to reduce the unequal burden of violent injury and death.
Note how the risk of violent injury rose with each step of decreasing neighborhood socioeconomic status in this 10-year study of hospitalizations in Memphis, Tenn, and surrounding Shelby County.