Feature: Report from the National Violent Death Reporting System

CDC’S First Annual Report from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Division of Violence Prevention launched a national data and information gathering system referred to as the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 2003. The system was intended to improve the collection of violent death data in the United States, where an estimated 50,000 persons die annually as a result of violence-related injuries. Previous reporting systems were fragmented, sometimes voluntary, had no uniform data elements, and provided little information about the circumstances that precipitated violent deaths.

The NVDRS began with seven states: Alaska, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina and Virginia. Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wisconsin joined in 2004, followed by California, Kentucky, New Mexico and Utah in 2005, for a total of 17 states. 

On April 11, 2008 the CDC released its first NVDRS Surveillance Summary in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR, 57(SS03); 1-43, 45). The MMWR Surveillance Summary presents 2005 data.  The results are reported by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, and marital status, location of injury, method of injury, circumstances of injury, and other selected characteristics. This report includes data from 16 states that implemented the system. Data from California are not included as the system has been implemented in only a limited number of cities and counties rather than statewide.

A goal of the system is to provide state public health agencies and interested officials, including policy planners and program directors, with a better understanding of the prevalence of homicide and suicide.  NVDRS can be used to inform prevention and intervention strategies in states.  Interested states and individuals are encouraged to access the NVDRS Report at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5703a1.htm.
For more information, contact Debra L. Karch, PhD, at dwy0@cdc.gov or (770) 488-1307, or contact Henry Maingi at hmaingi@amchp.org or (202) 775-0436, Ext. 133.