Table 4

 Descriptive statistics by cause of death

Decedent’s characteristicsStudy sample (n = 4996)Committed suicide by firearm (n = 190)Died from other causes (n = 4806)
Source: 1993 National Mortality Followback Survey (NMFS). †Reference group. ‡Reference group is non-drinkers, which includes lifetime abstainers and former drinkers. §Depressive symptoms include:(1) seeming drowsy or sluggish, (2) seeming unresponsive or withdrawn, (3) seeming impatient or annoyed, (4) expressing feelings of worthlessness, (5) crying for long periods for no apparent reason, (6) having trouble sleeping or sleeping more or less than usual, (7) eating more or less than usual, and (8) having trouble concentrating or difficulty making decisions. ¶Statistics are presented only for those who own firearms (n = 1608). *p<0.05—test of difference between those who committed suicide by firearm and those who died from other causes.
Sociodemographic characteristics
Mean age, y (SE)70.9 (0.4)50.3 (1.4)71.0 (0.4)*
Male, %57.187.356.9*
Education, %
    Less than high school†38.035.838.0
    High school35.640.035.6
    College26.324.126.3
Race/ethnicity, %
    White non-Hispanic and other†87.184.787.1
    Black non-Hispanic10.79.410.7
    Hispanic2.26.02.2*
Region of residence
    Northeast†17.29.717.2*
    Midwest29.823.529.8
    South34.649.334.5*
    West18.517.518.5
Correlates of mental wellbeing and stress
Frequency engaged in religious activities, %
    Never†37.057.236.9*
    Less than once per month, 1–3 times per month, 1–2 times per week56.236.556.3*
    3–6 times per week, every day6.86.36.8
Frequency engaged in moderate/vigorous physical activities, %
    Never†45.122.245.2*
    Less than once per month, 1–3 times per month, 1–2 times per week19.922.719.9
    3–6 times per week, every day35.055.134.9*
Frequency of contact with family or friends, %
    Never†5.33.95.3
    Less than once per month, 1–3 times per month, 1–2 times per week24.623.024.6
    3–6 times per week, every day70.173.170.1
Consumed 1+ alcoholic drinks per occasion, %‡24.258.924.0*
Experienced employment change, %1.617.11.5*
Avoided or refused needed health care, %14.222.514.2*
Visited a psychiatrist/psychologist, %4.914.54.8*
Number of depressive symptoms, %§
    None†23.332.123.2*
    1–234.927.634.9*
    3–425.024.525.0
    5+16.915.916.9
Possession and storage of firearms
Firearm(s) kept in/around the home, %35.791.335.4*
    Firearm(s) kept locked, %‡43.329.143.5
    Firearm(s) kept unloaded, %‡81.261.881.4*