Gun Violence Impacting Health in Black, Native Communities

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Rutgers University Indirect and direct exposure to firearm violence is harmful to mental and physical health, according to a Rutgers study There is a widening health disparity among Black, American Indian and Alaska Native adults exposed to gun violence, according to Rutgers researchers who say these communities have more mental and physical health issues because they witness or are victimized at a higher rate. In a new study published in Health Affairs Scholar, 3,015 Black and 527 American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults residing in the United States were surveyed between April and May 2023. Participants were asked whether they were threatened with a firearm, shot with a firearm, had a family or friend shot with a firearm, or witnessed or heard about a shooting. The results found that these circumstances led to poorer mental and physical health, especially when people experienced multiple types of gun violence exposure. “Communities of color bear the burden of gun violence in the United States. Our research shows that exposure to individual types of firearm violence, like being shot, threatened with a gun, or losing a loved one to gun violence, is linked to poorer mental and physical health among Black and AI/AN adults,” says...