PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

The Lancet: Black women in the USA were murdered six times more often than White women between 1999 and 2020, state-level analysis indicates

2024-02-09
(Press-News.org) Analysis of racial disparities in US homicide rates indicates Black women were on average six times more likely to die by homicide than White women between 1999 and 2020. Homicide rates among Black women were significantly higher than for White women in all 30 states analysed, with some evidence suggesting the biggest differences are in states with the highest racial inequities. The greatest disparity in homicide rates was in Wisconsin in 2019-2020, when Black women were 20 times more likely to be murdered than White women. Black women in the USA were more likely than White women to be killed by a firearm, particularly those in the Northeast and Midwest.  *Data on the 30 individual states included in the analysis can be found in Table 1 in the Article.* 

Black women in the USA were, on average, six times more likely to be murdered than their White peers over the past 20 years, according to a new analysis published in The Lancet. 

The study is the first to analyse homicide trends spanning two decades among women aged 25 to 44 – the ages when women are most likely to be murdered. It also indicates that Black women are more likely than White women to be killed by guns. 

It is well known that homicide rates among Black women in the USA are disproportionately high compared to White women, and that Black women tend to be murdered at younger ages and at higher rates than other women of colour in the USA, including Native American and Alaska Native women. Despite this, data on the disparities remains limited. 

“As a scholar whose research examines intimate partner violence, I have long known that there were disparities in homicide rates between Black and White women. To uncover the fact that Black women are murdered at rates as high as 20 to 1 in some states is heart-breaking and underscores the urgent need to make substantive structural shifts,” says Dr Bernadine Waller, lead author of the paper and a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) postdoctoral research fellow in the Psychiatry Department at Columbia University Irving Medical Center with a dual appointment at New York State Psychiatric Institute. [2]

Recent evidence suggests a strong link exists between higher homicide rates and the effects of deeply entrenched racial inequities – which manifest through factors such as educational attainment, unemployment, and wealth distribution – across the USA [1]. This suggests that measures to reduce structural racism in the USA could help prevent elevated rates of homicide among Black women. Understanding how disparities in homicide rates change over time at state and regional levels may help identify areas where intervention is needed most. 

To address this gap in knowledge, the authors used CDC WONDER public health data to carry out a cross-sectional analysis of homicide death rates for Black and White women in the USA between 1999 and 2020. The analysis focused on women aged 25-44 years in the 30 states with enough homicides (more than nine in any year) for analysis. 

Results were produced for five time periods: 1999-2003; 2004-2008; 2009-2013; 2014-2018; and 2019-2020. The method of homicide was analysed for four US regions: South, Midwest, West, and Northeast. 

The findings indicate that Black women in the USA overall had higher homicide rates compared to White women between 1999 and 2020. The overall homicide rate among Black women in 2020 was 11.6 per 100,000 population, compared with 3 per 100,000 among White women. This was virtually unchanged from 1999, when the rate among Black women was 11.6 per 100,000 compared to 2.9 per 100,000 in White women. While disparities in homicide rates fell between 1999 and 2013 – due to a decrease in homicide rates in Black women – they increased from 2013 to 2020. At the state level, there were also differences in how disparities in homicide rates decreased or increased between 1999 and 2020 (see Figure 2). 

Homicide rates among Black women were higher than their White peers during all periods in every state analysed. Overall, the greatest disparities were in the Midwest, where Black women in 2020 were over seven times more likely to be murdered than White women. The greatest inequities in homicide rates were in Wisconsin in 2019-2020, when Black women were 20 times more likely to be murdered than White women. 

Notably, states with the greatest disparities in homicide rates were in parts of the country with a high proportion of people of low socioeconomic status living close together. These areas also tend to have histories of slavery and lynching, and are places where especially tense Black Lives Matter protests took place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are also many underlying factors involved, such as gender – males are more often responsible for intimate partner violence and shootings – but these were not investigated in the study.

“Our findings indicate that the greatest inequities are in the areas of the country where concentrated disadvantage is pronounced. Thus, focusing on historical structural racism’s long-lasting legacy in the USA is imperative. Efforts aimed at reducing disproportionate homicide deaths among Black women can be implemented through addressing the role of structural racism when it comes to policies and practices that increase Black women’s risk and lessen Black women’s access to much needed resources,” said Victoria A. Joseph, a co-author of the paper and Data Analyst at Mailman School of Public Health Epidemiology, Columbia University. [2]

Gun deaths among Black and White women in the USA increased, with women in general more than twice as likely (odds of 2.44) to be killed by firearms in 2019-2020 compared to 1999-2003. However, Black women were more likely than White women to be killed by a firearm (odds of 1.38). 

The odds of gun deaths among Black women increased over time compared to White women. In 2020, Black women in the Northeast were three times more likely than White women (odds of 3.30) to be killed by a firearm, while firearm homicides among Black women in the Midwest were more than seven times higher (odds of 7.22) than among White women. In the South, Black women were around one and a half times (odds of 1.51) more likely to be killed by a firearm. The West’s sample size was too small to be included in this part of the analysis.  

“Available data indicate that homicides in the USA continued to escalate in many areas of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, which also intersected with widespread national protests after the murder of George Floyd. These trends reflect systems that have long disserviced communities of colour, and underscore that sustained investment and vision to support underserved communities are critical to reverse racial injustices that impact health and wellbeing.” said Katherine Keyes, senior author of the paper and Professor of Epidemiology at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. [2]

The authors acknowledge some limitations to their study. Data was not available for all 50 US states as the number of homicides in some states was too low for analysis. Therefore, the findings apply only to the states analysed. Homicides are reported to have increased substantially between 2019 and 2020, particularly among Black populations. However, the study may underestimate current disparities in homicide rates as data for 2019 and 2020 was combined for reporting purposes. Evidence from previous studies indicates that violence caused by a current or former partner – especially against women – increased during the COVID-19 pandemic [3], but data beyond 2020 was not available in this study. Black women are a diverse group, including African American women, African, Afro Caribbean, Black Hispanic, and Black European women, but reporting methods did not allow for analysis of disparities within subgroups.

Writing in a Linked Comment, Rebecca F Wilson and Janet M Blair, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who were not involved in the study, said: “All homicides, including those of women, are preventable. The findings from Waller and colleagues’ study provide the visibility needed to address the public health crisis of homicides of women and the inequities in homicide experienced by Black women.” They highlight the importance of enacting state-level legislation to tackle the disparities in homicide rates among Black women, saying: “These legislative efforts offer a beacon of hope that the disproportionate homicide of Black women will be addressed as a crisis of epidemic scale alongside the already recognised epidemic of homicides among Black men and boys.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

This study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It was conducted by researchers from Columbia University.

The labels have been added to this press release as part of a project run by the Academy of Medical Sciences seeking to improve the communication of evidence. For more information, please see: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMS-press-release-labelling-system-GUIDANCE.pdf if you have any questions or feedback, please contact The Lancet press office pressoffice@lancet.com 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9744051/ 
[2] Quote direct from author and cannot be found in the text of the Article.
[3] https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/in-focus-gender-equality-in-covid-19-response/violence-against-women-during-covid-19 

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Study shows clinical benefit of new way of treating advanced ER+ breast cancer

2024-02-09
A research paper published today (8 February 2024) in The Lancet Oncology demonstrates that the drug enobosarm, a selective androgen receptor modulator which stimulates the male sex hormone receptor has anti-tumour effects in oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients. Lead author Professor Carlo Palmieri from the University of Liverpool and The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These results are very encouraging – we have shown that in advanced/metastatic breast cancer ...

Repeat testing for pre-eclampsia does not lead to better outcomes for pregnant women, but a single test is still beneficial

2024-02-09
A single test to speed up diagnosis of a serious disease in pregnant women does not need to be repeated, new research has found. Results from the PARROT-2 trial, published today in the Lancet by researchers from King’s College London and funded by Jon Moulton Charitable Trust, Tommy’s Charity and the National Institute for Health and Care Research, has ruled out the need for routine repeat placental growth factor-based testing (PIGF) for all women with suspected pre-eclampsia. PARROT-2 is a large, multi-centre UK trial in 1,252 women ...

Industrial pollution leaves its mark in Mediterranean corals

Industrial pollution leaves its mark in Mediterranean corals
2024-02-09
UCL Press Release Under embargo until Friday 9 February, 00:01 UK time Industrial pollution leaves its mark in Mediterranean corals For the first time, pollutants from burning fossil fuels have been found embedded in corals, offering scientists a potential new tool to track the history of pollution, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, identified carbon particles emitted by burning fossil fuels embedded in the corals of Illa Grossa Bay, off the Columbretes Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Finding this type of pollution – known as fly-ash or spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) ...

Urgent call for antitrust measures to safeguard innovation in spatial biology

Urgent call for antitrust measures to safeguard innovation in spatial biology
2024-02-09
Recent breakthroughs in spatial biology technology have transformed biomedical research; however, legal disputes are preventing small, innovative companies from advancing new technologies and ideas. Ongoing litigation poses a threat to the progress of even the most promising scientific technologies and the potential discoveries they could enable, according to the authors of the exclusive article titled “Sounding an Alarm Over Spatial Biology,” in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN). Click here to read the article ...

Pre-diabetes gets its due: New $1.2 million award aimed at early intervention and treatment

2024-02-09
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 8, 2024 – More than one out of three people have pre-diabetes, characterized by abnormal blood sugar levels not yet in the diabetes range – and yet associated with significant increases in eye, kidney and neuropathic diseases, and risk of cardiovascular death. Moreover, the number of people with the condition is expected to double by 2030, with prevalence substantially higher in minority populations, including Hispanics. Both pre-diabetes and diabetes are considered global epidemics. As pre-diabetes largely is underdiagnosed and undertreated, ...

Celebrating excellence in anatomy: AAA awards distinguished members

Celebrating excellence in anatomy: AAA awards distinguished members
2024-02-08
ROCKVILLE, MD – February 8, 2024 – The American Association for Anatomy (AAA) is honored to announce its 2024 awards recipients. Eighteen of the association’s 2,455 members have been selected because they advanced AAA’s values: community, respect, inclusion, integrity, and discovery.   The AAA awards program provides over $650,000 in awards, research grants, and scholarships annually. Many recipients go on to achieve significant success in their careers.  "We, as anatomy ...

Athira Pharma announces publication in Frontiers in Neuroscience highlighting therapeutic potential of ATH-1105 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

2024-02-08
BOTHELL, WA, Feb. 8, 2024 — Athira Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHA), a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced publication of research highlighting the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of ATH-1105 in preclinical models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The original research article, “ATH-1105, a small-molecule positive modulator of the neurotrophic HGF system, is neuroprotective, preserves neuromotor function, and extends survival in preclinical models of ALS,” authored by Berthiaume, A., and Reda, S., et al., was published ...

Sex hormones help gonorrhea fight off antimicrobials and antibiotics

2024-02-08
DURHAM, N.C. – You know that package warning that oral birth control won’t prevent STIs? Well in the case of gonorrhea, the sexually transmitted bacterium that causes the disease can use those hormones to help it resist antibiotic attacks. Like many bacteria, this bug, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is equipped with pumps to push the killing chemicals out of its cells. But what’s unique, according to a Duke and Emory study online this week in Nature Communications, is that the hormones of the human urogenital tract actually allow gonorrhea to make and use more of these pumps to fight intrinsic ...

45 finalists named for the 2024 Hertz Fellowships

2024-02-08
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation today announced 45 finalists for the 2024 Hertz Fellowships in applied science, mathematics and engineering. Selected from more than 860 applicants and representing 21 universities, the finalists advance to a culminating round of interviews for one of the most competitive and coveted doctoral fellowships in the nation. The 2024 class of Hertz Fellows will be announced in May. Since 1963, the Hertz Foundation has granted fellowships empowering the nation’s most promising young ...

How one type of lung cancer can transform into another

How one type of lung cancer can transform into another
2024-02-08
Lung tumors called adenocarcinomas sometimes respond to initially effective treatments by transforming into a much more aggressive small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that spreads rapidly and has few options for treatment. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have developed a mouse model that illuminates this problematic process, known as histological transformation. The findings advance the understanding of how mutated genes can trigger cancer evolution and suggest targets for more effective treatments. The researchers, whose results were published ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Sacituzumab govitecan plus platinum-based chemotherapy in breast, bladder, and lung carcinomas

Global study unveils "problematic" use of porn

Newly discovered protein prevents DNA triplication

Less ice in the arctic ocean has complex effects on marine ecosystems and ocean productivity

Antarctica’s coasts are becoming less icy

New research shows migrating animals learn by experience

Modeling the origins of life: New evidence for an “RNA World”

Scientists put forth a smarter way to protect a smarter grid

An evolutionary mystery 125 million years in the making

Data science approach to identifying thermal conductivity-related structural factors in amorphous materials

Deciphering the male breast cancer genome

Detection of suicide-related emergencies among children using real-world clinical data: A free webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Editor-in-Chief of Sustainability and Climate Change Madhavi Venkatesan named USA TODAY Woman of the Year for Massachusetts for leading plastic bottle ban efforts

Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion

Zika vaccine safe, effective when administered during pregnancy

Firearm ownership is correlated with elevated lead levels in children, study finds

Role of African women and young people in agricultural service provision investigated in new CABI-led study

26th International Conference of the Redox Medicine Society Set for June 2024 in Paris, France

Geologists explore the hidden history of Colorado’s Spanish Peaks

Webb unlocks secrets of one of the most distant galaxies ever seen

3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors

Discovered a RNA molecule that helps prevent DNA replication errors

Small and overlooked: Amount of repetitive DNA in blood hints at cancer early

Study determines the original orientations of rocks drilled on Mars

Illinois study: Supporting disease-challenged broiler chickens through nutrition

Communities severed by roads and traffic experience a larger number of collisions in New York City

Study shows new class of antivirals that works against SARS-CoV-2

Cost of direct air carbon capture to remain higher than hoped

Unraveling the mystery of chiton visual systems

Case Western Reserve University-led research team discovers new method to test for oral cancer

[Press-News.org] The Lancet: Black women in the USA were murdered six times more often than White women between 1999 and 2020, state-level analysis indicates