Authorities work the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio.
Authorities work the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo | John Minchillo)

Study: Nearly 500,000 Years of Life Lost in Ohio Due to Gun Violence Over 10 Years

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ATHENS, Ohio — A group of researchers in Ohio found that between 2008 and 2018, the state lost hundreds of thousands years of life due to gun violence.

The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health (The Alliance) released research showing nearly 500,000 years of life were lost in Ohio during that decade. The research was released in light of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. It is not exclusive to mass shootings, but The Alliance hoped to contribute to the national conversation currently taking place.

“The continued increase in firearm fatalities in Ohio and the number of years of life lost is certainly a public health issue,” said Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP) Dean Randy Leite. “These are hundreds of thousands of years we’ll never get back, years of lost parenthood, lost employment productivity, lost civic leadership, lost care for elderly relatives and so much more.

“The Alliance continues to produce reports that show the real-world impact of some of our most significant public health issues.”

The study reviewed data from the Ohio Department of Health from 2009-2017 and included preliminary data from 2018 to calculate 484,122 years of life lost (YLL) as a result of 13,001 deaths from firearms during that time.

Suicide accounted for more than half of the total years of life lost, followed by homicide and accidental death, according to Orman Hall, executive in residence at CHSP and the study’s author.



The highest percentage of firearm-related YLL was for Ohioans between the ages of 20-24 at 34 percent. Ohio’s senior citizen population accounted for the highest rate of increase at 80 percent.

In 2009, 1,087 Ohioans died by firearms, leading to 41,161 years of life lost. A steady increase in both the number of deaths and YLL took place through 2013.

Firearm-related deaths fell in 2014 before rising to 1,360 deaths in 2015, corresponding to 50,922 YLL. In 2016, YLL jumped again to 55,515, peaked at 59,515 in 2017 and then fell to 55,154 the following year.

The southeast region of the state as a whole had the most counties with high rates of firearm fatalities per 100,000 population.

[Courtesy The Alliance]
The 10 highest counties for average annual YLL rate per 100,000 population ranked as follows:

  1. Adams
  2. Jackson
  3. Mahoning
  4. Montgomery
  5. Hamilton
  6. Franklin
  7. Meigs
  8. Jefferson
  9. Cuyahoga
  10. Gallia

The 10 highest counties for total number of YLL were as follows:

  1. Cuyahoga – 71,261
  2. Franklin – 68,382
  3. Hamilton – 47,545
  4. Montgomery – 32,199
  5. Summit – 22,932
  6. Lucas – 20,712
  7. Stark – 16,320
  8. Mahoning – 14,680
  9. Butler – 11,847
  10. Trumbull – 10,457

Leite said the College of Health Sciences and Professions will convene an ad hoc group to continue to study firearm fatalities in the area.