Homicide and suicide rates in six states rose between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in the first report issued from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). The data from Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon South Carolina, and Virginia) contrasted with decreases in violent deaths reported in these states and nationwide from 1993 through 2000. CDC said the data were insufficient to make a conclusive determination on trends.
On 2003, homicide increased four percent and suicide increased five percent above 2002 rates in the six reporting states. Dr. Ileana Arias, of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control said that “the data help to identify potential strategies and also allow us to evaluate our current violence prevention efforts and determine if they are saving lives.” Each state collects detailed information about a violent death from records of state health departments, medical examiners and coroners, and law enforcement to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths. At present, 17 states take part in the system. A report expected later this year will include data from the initial six states as well as seven other states: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Another four states–California, Connecticut, Utah, and New Mexico, will not release data until 2006. CDC hopes to expand NVDRS to all 50 states so data can be compared across states and regions and to establish national violence related data. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/ncipc/profiles/nvdrs/facts.htm or www.cdc.gov/injury.