NEW YORK, March 31 (Xinhua) -- During the first two years of the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of people injured by gunfire rose 40 percent in the United States, compared with 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a study published on Thursday.
In 2022, gun injuries tapered off, but were still 20 percent higher than before the pandemic.
Gun injuries rose similarly for men and women over the past three years, while the largest proportional increase occurred among children younger than 15, a subset that remains a small fraction of the overall problem.
Experts say the CDC gun injury study, which uses data from hospital emergency departments, helps provide a more comprehensive picture of gun violence in the United States than simply measuring homicides and suicides, said The Associated Press in its report of the data.
The CDC study results came from more than 2,200 U.S. hospital emergency departments, which represent the bulk of the nation's emergency rooms, said Thomas Simon, one of the authors of the new study.
The study suggests that the number of gunshot-related emergency room visits at hospitals in the study rose from around 50,000 in 2019 to more than 72,000 in 2020. Because more than a quarter of U.S. hospital emergency departments were not involved in the study, the actual number is likely significantly higher.