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un deaths crop up more frequently in certain areas in the US, according to new research published in Injury Prevention. Here’s what the analysis found:

  • Seven states in the South — Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia — had high rates of unintentional firearm deaths, between two and four times the national average.
  • Deaths involving an interaction with a police officer were noticeably higher on the West Coast. California, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah had rates as high as three and a half times the national average. In fact, those five states accounted for one-third of all “legal intervention deaths” (where a police officer kills or is killed by another individual) between 2010 and 2014.

The findings were part of a broader look at the most distinctive cause of death in each state, meaning the cause that cropped up significantly more often in that state than in the US as a whole. Other items of note:

  • Deaths involving machinery are more common in the agricultural states of Iowa and North Dakota.
  • Suicides are more prevalent in Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Hampshire.
  • Accidental deaths involving a bicycle are more common in Florida.
  • Unintentional suffocation deaths are more frequent in Connecticut.
Most distinctive cause of death by state. (Heins, Crifasi)
The most distinctive cause of death by state. Heins, Crifasi

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