Racial Differences in Accidental and Violent Deaths Among U.S. Navy Personnel
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
The purpose of this study was to examine racial differences in mortality due to accidents, poisonings and violence among enlisted Navy personnel between 1974 and 1979. Primary diagnosis, cause of death, type of trauma and place of occurrence were examined on the basis of age, race, sex, occupation, pay grade, and length of service. Results indicated that blacks had a significantly higher total mortality rate than whites. Blacks were found to be at significant risk of death from adverse effects, toxic effects, and homicides. Most of the deaths due to adverse effects were attributed to unspecified drugs, followed by opiates and synthetic analogs. The risk of death from toxic effects for blacks was twice as great as the risk for whites, with drownings accounting for the largest percentage of these deaths among both racial groups. The homicide rate for blacks also was three times greater than the homicide rate for whites. No consistent relationship between mortality, age, and in-service socioeconomic status was discerned for either racial group. Pre-service sociocultural factors do appear to be implicated in the risk of death from adverse effects and drowning among blacks, however. Greater awareness of the hazards of improper use of drugs and medications and greater concern for water safety, especially among older black males, was indicated.
- Sociology and Law
- Medicine and Medical Research