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Homicide Among Adolescents in the United States

Lois A. Fingerhut, MA
JAMA. 1991;266(16):2223. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470160055024.
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To the Editor.  —The review by Dr Blum1 of adolescent health contains inaccurate and incomplete homicide data for the United States. Homicide was not the third leading cause of death but was the 12th leading cause for the total population in 1987 and in 1988. However, for persons aged 15 through 24 years, homicide ranked as the second leading cause of death (following unintentional injuries) in 1986, 1987, and 1988. The rate of 21.9 deaths per 100 000 persons, as cited by Blum, is the 1987 homicide rate for males aged 15 through 24 years, as reported in the study by Fingerhut and Kleinman,2 which was not referenced by Blum.Blum is correct in pointing out the racial differences in homicide for those aged 15 through 24 years. The rate cited, 79.2 per 100 000, is the 1986 rate for black males in that age group. The 1987

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